How to Know If You Have a Broken Toe

At some point or another we have all walked into a table leg or chair leg and stubbed our toe. WOW the pain is intense and we often wonder if the toe is actually broken. It certainly feels that way. Those digits are so flexible it is not easy to tell, and at the moment all we know is that it hurts and you cannot touch it or stand on it. Is there such a thing as broken toe symptoms?

The symptoms of a broken toe are: swelling, discoloration (sometimes the toe will turn black and blue), and pain when walking or running. If you think you have broken your toe it is imperative that you see your doctor or healthcare professional immediately. Your toe will have to be X-rayed so that the proper treatment can be given to it. In addition to the symptoms we have mentioned, there may also be bleeding, weakness, numbness, tingling and the toe may be somewhat misshapen.

There are some things you can do to treat a broken toe until you are able to get a doctor appointment. Stay off the toe and elevate the foot. Placing an ice pack on the foot every ten or fifteen minutes every hour while it is elevated will help. Do not place too much ice on the foot as you can potentially inflict frostbite on the possibly broken toe. This kind of treatment will help keep further swelling down and the ice will ease the pain a little. Definitely do not force yourself to walk on it until you’re 100% sure you do not have a broken toe.

If for some reason you are not able to see your doctor or healthcare professional then you will have to “help yourself”. There is something called the Buddy Wrap that you can use to help your broken toe. You will need gauze, a Popsicle stick or cotton ball and medical adhesive tape. Wrap the gauze around the broken toe and around the toe next (pick the neighbouring toe that is larger); the Popsicle stick or the cotton ball should be placed between the toes as this will help the toe heal straight; now wrap tape around the gauze to keep the entire bandage in place.

Don’t walk or stand for any significant amount of time for at least two weeks while the broken toe is healing and wear comfortable shoes. Women should avoid wearing high heels as they distribute your weight on the toes. Keep the foot elevated (preferably chest high). Keep in mind that broken toes heal differently depending on which toe was broken. You big toe supports the majority of your weight, especially when you walk, therefore, it will take longer to heal and will have a greater effect on our healing then if you had broken one of the other smaller toes.

When you feel you are able to see the doctor then do so as soon as possible. The toe, whether still painful or healed, should be looked at and X-rayed in order to ensure that there are no other complications that are likely to arise. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially dealing a broken joint that could cause some nasty long term side effects if allowed to heal improperly.