What is a broken toe?

A broken toe is a condition characterized by a fracture of one of the bones in your toes. A broken toe may result from a variety of injuries, including falls, accidents, or dropping an object on your toe. Osteoporosis, which is a thinning and weakening of the bones, is a further cause of broken toes.

In most cases, the pain of an injury will signal that you may have broken your toe. In severe fractures, the bone may be visible and protruding through the skin or your toe may look deformed. Symptoms of broken toe usually are localized to the location of the fracture. The most common symptoms of a broken toe are pain and swelling. You may have difficulty standing or walking.

For toe fractures, your health care provider may recommend a home care plan, including icing the fracture, taking over-the counter medications to reduce pain and swelling, and limiting activity. Unless the toe fracture is associated with other injuries or severe deformity, surgical procedures are rarely necessary.

Although life-threatening complications of a broken toe are rare, seek immediate medical care (call 911) for injuries that involve profuse bleeding or severe tissue damage.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for a broken toe but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of a broken toe?

Symptoms of broken toe usually are localized to the toe and typically include pain and swelling.... Read more about broken toesymptoms

CAUSES

What causes a broken toe?

A broken toe may result from a variety of injuries. Your toe may be broken during a fall, a sporting activity, or a traffic accident. Dropping an object on your toe may also cause the bones in your toe to fracture. Osteoporosis, a thinning and weakening of the bones, is another cause of broken toes. If you have osteoporosis, your bones may break during activities that normally would do no harm. Stress fractures, minor fractures of the bone, may arise if you participate in intense activity, due to overuse.... Read more about broken toecauses

TREATMENTS

How is a broken toe treated?

Treatment for a broken toe begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine whether you have a broken toe, your health care provider may take an X-ray. The X-ray will visualize the bones in your toes and show whether a fracture occurred and where it is.... Read more about broken toetreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Injuries and Wounds


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