It’s only a broken toe. There is no treatment. Just tape it to the next one. This is what we hear daily. Unfortunately, however, it is completely WRONG!
Fractures (breaks) of the bones of the toes are the most common fractures of the body. The fifth toe is the one most recently fractured. This usually happens when walking barefooted and hitting the toe against a piece of furniture or an object, often while walking in the dark. This injury has the nickname of the “bedpost fracture”.
Toe fractures can have several symptoms, including pain, swelling, bruising, weakness, stiffness, numbness, and displacement. The only way to determine if the bone is fractured is to take an x-ray. Often, suspected fracture will actually be a deep bruise or a sprain, both of which still require treatment. If the bone is fractured, it must be determined if it is in proper alignment , or if it is displaced. Displaced fractures have to be realigned, or “reduced”. This is usually done under local anesthesia in the office, but occasionally may require a surgical procedure. Once reduced, the fracture must be immobilized so that it will heal correctly.
Is a fractured toe does not heal in the correct position, it can become crooked (malunion) and can develop arthritis, often necessitating a later surgical repair.
Any injury to a toe must be thoroughly evaluated and treated properly. Call our offices for appointment if you have any toe injury.