How to Treat a Broken Toe
Many people have the wrong ideas when it comes to what should be done about a broken toe. A major myth regarding broken toes is that if you can walk on it, then it must not be broken. But a minor break may not be extremely painful and walking on the foot will just cause more damage.
A toe that has a minor break or a small stress fracture may not cause severe pain. For these less traumatic toe injuries, resting, icing, and elevation will reduce swelling. Taping the toe to the next one, known as “buddy taping,” may be enough to allow the toe to heal. If swelling and pain last for more than a day or two, you need to see your foot doctor for proper treatment.
The correct treatment of a broken toe is essential to preventing future problems such as chronic pain, stiffness and complications from arthritis. In fact, if a broken toe is allowed to heal in a bent position you may actually need toe surgery to have it broken again by your foot doctor in order to properly straighten out the toe.
Treatments for a broken or severely injured toe may include the following:
- Splints and bracing—These custom made orthotic inserts and devices can help to isolate and cushion the toe so healing may occur more rapidly without causing further injury.
- Immobilizing the foot with a stiff boot—A rigid boot can be worn to prevent unnecessary movement of the foot and to protect the injured toe while it heals.
- Taping toes together—A toe with a stress fracture or a severely sprained toe can be immobilized by taping it to the toe that is next to it, thereby limiting movement.
If you think you may have broken a toe, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We highly recommend that you consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!