If you’ve ever dropped a heavy object on your toe, you know how painful it can be. Trauma like that is just one way you can break one or more bones in one or more of your toes. If you do break a toe, it is important to get medical treatment as soon as possible to alleviate the pain, prevent any further damage, and start the healing process.
Signs of a Broken Toe
At JAWSpodiatry we see and treat a lot of broken toes. Sometimes, it can be obvious that a toe is broken, such as with compound fractures or visible dislocations and deformities. Many times, however, people don’t know they’ve actually broken their toe until they see a doctor and get an x-ray.
If you feel or see any of the following signs, there is a good chance your toe is broken and in need of treatment:
- Pain or tenderness
- Blood under the toenail or broken toenail
- Bruising or discoloration of the skin around the toe
- Difficulty and pain when walking, especially if the big toe is fractured
- Shoes may be painful to wear or feel tight
- Injury to the nail bed
- Tingling in the injured toe
If you believe you have broken your toe, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain and reduce swelling before you get to the doctor:
- Elevate your toe, ideally above the level of your heart, to reduce the flow of blood to your feet and reduce swelling. Prop your foot on some pillows while lying down or sit in a reclining chair if possible.
- Apply an ice pack to the area. Put some ice in a plastic bag (or use a bag of frozen peas), wrap in a washcloth or towel, and apply to the injured toe for 15 to 20 minutes every one to 2 hours for the first one to two days.
- Stay off of it. Rest and avoid putting any stress, strain, or pressure on the toe.
How we treat a broken toe depends primarily on which toe is broken and how severe the injury is. Two main treatment modes are called “reduction” and “buddy taping”.
- If the two ends of the broken bone are out of place or the toe is rotated or pointing in the wrong direction, we may need put the toe back into place. This is “reduction.” After a reduction, the broken bone will need to be held in place while it heals, usually by a splint or cast.
- Buddy taping. For smaller fractures or for treatment of smaller toes, the toe may be tightly wrapped together with an adjacent, or “buddy,” toe to provide it with support and keep it in place.
Sometimes, as with a compound fracture, surgery may be necessary to fully repair the break. You may need a tetanus shot and antibiotic medication as well if the bone has punctured the skin or there is an open wound.
Most broken toes fully heal if properly treated. If you think you may have a broken toe, schedule an appointment with JAWSpodiatry today.
Call JAWSpodiatry Today to Schedule an Appointment
At JAWSpodiatry in Hollywood, Florida, we know how painful and frustrating foot or ankle problems such as broken toes can be. We also understand that you want to resolve any such problems as quickly and as easily as possible. That is why we utilize the most advanced and non-invasive techniques to reduce pain and speed recovery. Please call us today at (954) 922-7333 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.