Broken Toe - Describe Your Experience

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Broken toe facts

  • Broken toes are often caused by trauma or injury. Prolonged repetitive movements can cause a type of broken toe called a stress or hairline fracture.
  • Symptoms of a broken toe include
    • pain,
    • swelling,
    • stiffness,
    • bruising,
    • deformity, and
    • difficultly walking.
  • Possible complications of a broken toe include
    • nail injury,
    • compound fracture,
    • infection,
    • deformity, or
    • arthritis.
  • Seek immediate medical care if you suspect an open fracture of the toe; if there is bleeding; cold, numb, or tingling sensation; if the toe appears deformed or is pointing in the wrong direction; or blue or gray color to the injured area.
  • A broken toe is diagnosed with a medical examination, which may include X-rays.
  • To help decrease pain and swelling in a broken toe, elevate the foot, ice the injury, and stay off the foot.
  • Depending on the severity of the fracture, the toe may need to be put back into place (reduced), and some compound toe fractures may require surgery.
  • Pain from a broken toe can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Buddy taping (taping the toe to an adjacent toe can be used to splint a fractured toe.
  • Most broken toes heal without complications in six weeks.
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See what others are saying

Comment from: cobrawho, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

I kicked a shelf with my right little toe, as I have many times, but this time my toe got separated from the second little toe, about a quarter of an inch. My symptoms are sharp pain as I did it, but pain stopped immediately. On the second day my toe turned purplish on the inside of the small toe. On the 3rd day about 60 percent of top of the foot turned purple and bruised. It is aching a little while walking, and sore other times. I am on the 3rd week exactly from when I did it, last night it was getting sore, but had socks on and did not notice anything. I looked at it this morning; I noticed the little toe was now black and blue and swelling a little on the inside of my toe. It is kind of ugly, but I have been pushing down a little as it does not sit flat on the floor so I probably caused it but if not, I need to know if it is something I need to run to the hospital about, or if I can just let it heal.

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Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

Two months ago while wearing soft rubber boots, my horse spooked and spun around pushing off on my foot. My toes and front of my foot hurt and became swollen and bruised. It hurt to wear regular shoes but I had an old pair of generic Crocs with a soft large toe box that I was able to tolerate wearing. O took two days off and then returned to work nursing where I am on my feet continuously. I took ibuprofen morning and night to help with pain. A month later as per advice from a doctor I work with, I had an x-ray. Sure enough my 4th and 5th toes had nondisplaced fractures. It has been two months and my 4th toe remains very swollen but not painful. I can't wear my regular size shoes for any length of time at this point. I had to buy a size larger for winter boots.

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