A toe fracture happens when a person breaks a bone in the toe. Like with any fracture, symptoms are swelling, bruising, pain difficulty walking and, if dislocated, toe that looks like it is out of place.
After health care provided collects pertinent history, X-ray of affected body part is done. Tiny (hairline) fractures sometimes are not seen on initial X-ray, so either follow-up X-ray may be done, or another imaging modality used if indicated.
Treatment includes rest and elevation, ice (10-15 min on and off to avoid thermal injuries), pain relieving medications “NSAID’s” that include ibuprofen (brand names: Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (brand name: Aleve), buddy taping of the injured toe to the toe next to it, wearing a special hard-soled shoe called “pos-op,” or rarely cast. If toe is not in the right position, healthcare provider may need to put it back to the correct alignment “reduce”.
Toe fractures take weeks to heal, and it is important to have a healthy diet and consume enough protein, calcium, vitamin D. Smoking delays healing, so it must be avoided.