Proper care of a broken toe

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A broken toe can cause a lot of pain and typically occur due to severe impact or trauma to one of the phalanges that comprise the toes but a stress fracture can gradually occur over time as well. Depending on the severity of the injury, proper care must be observed not only on severe cases but also in minor cases in order to promote fast recovery.


The symptoms of a traumatic injury to the toe include pain that is felt abruptly at the time of injury. The toe will swell up quickly and bruising can occur if there is a connected soft tissue injury. In severe cases of a broken toe that have been displaced, the affected toe will appear deformed. When it comes to fractures affecting the smaller toes, the individual might not be aware that he/she has a fracture.

Broken toe
The symptoms of a traumatic injury to the toe include pain that is felt abruptly at the time of injury.

Overview on a broken toe

The toes are comprised of up to 14 bones that are called as phalanges with 3 bones in every small toe and 2 bones in the big toe. This is actually different from a fractured metatarsal which occurs in the foot.

Fractures to the phalanges typically occur due to direct trauma such as dropping an object on the foot or stumping the toe on a hard surface. The big toe can endure a stress fracture which is quite common among adolescent athletes.

The most prevalent form of toe fractures includes the big toe, little toe or the pinky toe. The reason for this is that the two toes are exposed and likely to come in contact with hard objects. The other toes are protected by the other toes beside it.


The treatment of a broken toe typically involves rest. The individual is advised to take weight off the foot, elevate it and apply an ice pack as soon as possible. It is best to apply ice to the toe to help relieve pain as well as prevent swelling that will delay the healing process. To learn to recognize and manage bone injuries including a broken toe, enroll in a first aid course with a credible Canadian provider today.

Once the individual suspects a broken toe, it is recommended to consult a doctor proper assessment. An X-ray is taken in order to confirm a diagnosis. Nevertheless, even a minor fracture in one of the small toes will not require any treatment and the individual will not be disabled for any period of time.

The fractures that involves the big toe or there is a complex fracture, it might require the individual to use a walking boot that is used for 2-4 weeks in order to provide protection to the foot. Otherwise, buddy taping is also performed in which the affected toe is supported by adjacent toe.

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