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
- Broken toe facts
- 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?
- Find a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
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
- If the injured two appears deformed or is pointing in the wrong direction (angulated)
Call a doctor if any of the following occur
- If the broken toe pain worsens or new pain is not relieved by pain medication
- Sores, redness, or open wounds near the injured toe
- Bruising or bleeding under the toenail that causes significant pain
- A cast or splint is damaged or broken.
How is a broken toe diagnosed?
Seek medical evaluation soon after the injury to ensure proper treatment and healing.
- A doctor will ask questions to determine how the toe was injured and will examine the injured toe and possibly check for other injuries.
- A doctor may take an X-ray to evaluate if the toe is broken or fractured. X-rays are not always necessary to diagnose a broken toe, especially if the break is in one of the smaller toes.
- Stress fractures, due to overuse or repetitive movement, may need an MRI to be diagnosed.
What is the treatment for a broken toe?
A broken toe can be cared for at home by decreasing the pain and swelling using rest, ice, and elevation; allowing the fracture to heal properly. In certain situations, a broken toe may need medical care such as reduction (putting the toe back into place), casting, or splinting the toe.
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