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Does a Broken Toe Require a Doc?

The other night, my husband accidentally kicked the wall and did a doozy on his toe. Normally I don't fall for it when he over dramatizes these things, but we all know that nothing hurts worse than knocking your toe on the door jamb. His toe quickly turned black and blue and he claimed it was broken.

I, being FitSugar and all, said that he would just have to deal with it because doctors don't fix broken toes. A broken toe can set you back in your fitness goals and now he's bummed because he can't go for his morning jogs.

After stating my case, I decided to do my research, and it turns out I was wrong (not something that happens all the time, mind you) -- Apparently doctors do fix broken toes! (I blame my mom for implanting this myth in my head.) Here's more:

Nineteen of the 26 bones in the foot are toe bones. There are things a foot and ankle surgeon can do to make a broken toe heal better and prevent problems later on, such as arthritis or toe deformities.

Broken toes that aren’t treated correctly can also make walking and wearing shoes difficult. A foot and ankle surgeon will x-ray the toe to learn more about the fracture. If the broken toe is out of alignment, the surgeon may have to insert a pin, screw or plate to reposition the bone.

But not all hurt toes are broken. To learn when to go see a doc, just

EMedicineHealth recommends calling a doctor if any of the following occur to the injured area:

  • Worsening or new pain not relieved by pain medication and the measures described in the treatment section.
  • Sores, redness, or open wounds near the injured toe.
  • Cold, numb, or tingling toes.
  • Blue or gray colored skin


lms lms 10 years
Part of me thinks I broke my pinky toe and never realized it. One of them has a very limited range of movement. Who knows.....
Allytta Allytta 10 years
well it was pretty stupid of you. toes are liek noses, fingers or anything else. there can be even a little cast made (depends on the brake), or something to hold it tight. well, some people do not fix any bones that they brake :D jeez.
Ashlyn-Rose Ashlyn-Rose 10 years
I broke my toe when I was about 12 and my mom told me that there wasn't anything the doctor could do about it either!
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i always thought it was weird to not get any broken bone fixed - my god, the pain!
leilanidream leilanidream 10 years
im glad i stumbled upon this entry, cause i did a number on 2 of my toes,,,and like most thought it best to simply suffer through it LOL
purrtykitty purrtykitty 10 years
gah! i broke my little toe in early hurt soooo bad!! i had it buddy taped for weeks. it's better now and i'm just getting started running again. i'm being careful so as to not overdo it too much. the toe is bigger than what it used to be and sticks out a little, but that's nothing compared to what it was 6 weeks ago! oh yeah, and i went to the dr. because my mom said that i should get it x-rayed to make sure it wasn't dislocated (that and for the pain meds...hehe). i didn't think you could dislocate a toe, but it makes sense since it's a joint.
vivalasvegas vivalasvegas 10 years
I broke my big toe once and had to have surgery on it a year later when it didn't heal properly -- 'cause we thought there wasn't much you could do for a broken toe. An hour for a doctor's visit is much better than four weeks of limping around!
kgtg1 kgtg1 10 years
When I was younger and competing in gymnastics, every time any of us broke a toe we would be sent to the doctor and the doctor would put a cast on the toe! It was supposed to help it to heal faster so that we wouldn't have to miss meets. I broke several, but I remember when I broke the big toe that I had a whole foot cast-thing going on...and it did heal very quickly. I would suggest asking for a cast if you need it to heal faster!
lindaloo lindaloo 10 years
I've had xrays after a bad break but that was just to make sure I didn't break bones in my foot too. Otherwise all you can do is tape them together right?
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
haha, i have broken many toes...and the only ones the doctor ever fixes (in my experience) is the big toe. Otherwise he says to buddy tape it, rest it, and take ibuprofen. although i did have to go to a pediatrist because right after i broke it (like literally 8 hours later) i stubbed it AGAIN! It hurt so much i couldn't breath.
ClassicsDiva ClassicsDiva 10 years
It really depends on which toe it is, what kind of break it is, and what kind of medical care you get. When my dad broke his pinky toe, the doctor looked at it and told the nurse to tape it up. The nurse didn't know what she was doing, and taped it into this giant crooked gauzy mess. He came home, redid it himself, and it turned out fine, but he swore he would never go to the doctor for another broken toe.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
Such good info! I always thought there was nothing that could be done either. My mom just had a broken toe (very likely at least) and we never did anything about it. BOO.
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