What is toe swelling?

Toe swelling is characterized by a buildup of fluids in your toe. A collection of excess fluid anywhere in the body is known as edema. The swelling may be painless or accompanied by a variety of symptoms, including bruising, itchiness, pain, numbness, redness, stiffness and tenderness.

Toe swelling may be a symptom of a condition or injury affecting your toe or your whole body. The severity of swelling largely depends on its underlying cause. For example, standing or sitting for extended periods may cause minor and temporary toe swelling accompanied by swelling of your feet. Severe swelling may be the result of an injury, such as a broken bone or sprain, or a medical condition, such as heart failure or arthritis.

The duration and course of toe swelling varies widely, depending on the cause. Swelling caused by injury often has a sudden onset. In other cases, toe swelling resulting from an underlying medical condition may develop slowly and persist or worsen over time.

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

Swollen feet and legs may be a sign of a serious condition, such as heart failure. In rare cases, infections of the bone (osteomyelitis) or skin and soft tissues (cellulitis) of the toe can spread throughout the body, resulting in shock and organ failure. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if toe swelling is accompanied by serious symptoms, such as sudden chest pain or pressure; palpitations; a high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit); or a change in level of consciousness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness.

If your toe swelling is persistent, recurrent, or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with toe swelling?

Toe swelling may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the toes may also involve other body systems.

Other toe symptoms that may occur along with toe swelling

Toe swelling may accompany other symptoms affecting the toe including:


What causes toe swelling?

Injury or damage to any of the structures in the toe can cause toe swelling. Diseases that affect the entire body, such as diabetes, arthritis, or vascular disease, can also lead to toe swelling.

Common injuries that can lead to toe swelling

A number of common injuries to the toe can cause toe sw... Read more about toe swellingcauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 11, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 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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