Have you ever hit your toe on a door jamb and wanted to just yell “I stubbed my toe, OUCH!” How can something so small hurt so darn much? We’ve all done it, whether it was running into a dark bathroom at 4 am or clipping the edge of the coffee table while chasing your little ones. It is easy to hurt those little toes, but what is there to do about it?
Broken, or fractured, toes are a common occurrence. The good news is that they usually heal well with little change to your daily life. After you’ve banged your foot on something, applying ice and elevating the foot are two things you can do right away to help relieve pain. Typically, you will walk with a bit of a limp in order to avoid fully bending through the broken toe.
A stiff-soled shoe may allow you to walk with a more regular gait pattern without pain. In some cases, a stiff boot is the best option as the toe box is wide and offers protection. Most toe fractures heal in 4-6 weeks, depending on the location and severity of the injury. It is a good idea to see an orthopedic provider if you suspect a fracture as they can evaluate and recommend various treatment options.
Fracturing the big toe will need more protection than just a stiff-soled shoe, as most of your weight is transferred through this toe during the “push-off” phase of gait. A device called a CAM Walker Boot is a treatment for great toe fractures. If you hit your small toe, it may be necessary to buddy tape your fourth and fifth toes together to prevent a deformity from developing.
If you suspect that you have injured your foot or toes, it is important to have it evaluated by an orthopedic provider. For you convenience for sudden mishaps, OrthopedicsNow! is available for same day walk in, or limp in, appointments!
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