Broken Toe (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Introduction to broken toe
- What are the causes of a broken toe?
- What are the symptoms of a broken toe?
- What are the possible complications of a broken toe?
- When should I call a doctor about a broken toe?
- How is a broken toe diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a broken toe?
- Caring for a broken toe at home
- Medical treatment
- Other therapy (reduction, buddy taping, how to tape a broken toe, casting)
- What is the outlook for a broken toe?
- Broken Toe At A Glance
- Find a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
What are the possible complications of a broken toe?
- Nail injury: A collection of blood may develop underneath the
a subungual hematoma. If it is
large, it may need to be drained. To drain a
subungual hematoma a doctor will make a small hole in the toenail to drain the
blood out. If the hematoma is very large or painful, the entire toenail may need
to be removed. The injury may also result in a broken toenail that may need to
be trimmed or removed.
- Compound fracture: Rarely, the broken bone in a toe fracture may stick out through the skin.
This is called an open or compound fracture. Emergency medical treatment and
surgery may be necessary in this case.
- Arthritis: After the toe fracture heals, the person may still be
left with arthritis,
pain, stiffness, or even a deformity.
- Nonunion/malunion: Sometimes, the fractured bone will not heal completely (called a nonunion) or will heal improperly (called a malunion). Rarely, surgery may be necessary to fix this problem.
When should I call a doctor about a broken toe?
Go to a hospital's emergency department if the following signs or symptoms are present:
- Any symptoms of a possible open (compound) fracture which include open
wounds, bleeding, or drainage from near the broken toe;
- Cold, numb, tingling, or
unusual sensation in the toes;
- Blue or gray colored skin near the injury.
Call a doctor if any of the following occur:
- If the broken toe pain worsens or new pain is not relieved by pain
- Sores, redness, or open wounds near the injured toe;
- A cast or splint is damaged or broken.
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