Is it more than a stubbed toe?

Is it more than a stubbed toe?

Stub your toe? It could be possible you fractured your toe.

“Most of my patients get little toe fractures at home, many times bumping into furniture at night,” says Dr. Todd Rieter, a podiatrist at Aurora Health Care. “Sometimes this is called a ‘bedpost fracture’”.

But what is the treatment for this common injury?

Fractures rarely need surgery, but you should get an X-ray after a possible break as a small number may not heal if the bones are displaced, he says. Many places recommend to “buddy splint” or taping a toe next to the fourth toe, but in most circumstances this only makes the toe hurt more, Dr. Rieter explains.

“They take a lot longer to heal than most folks would think,” Dr. Rieter says. “They say, ‘It’s only a little toe’ but with the pressure of walking, swelling from it being at the bottom of the body and wearing shoes, it all can slow healing. It can take months for a fractured toe to totally stop hurting, although there should be some improvement weekly.”

Here are some tips that Dr. Rieter recommends if you think you have a fractured toe:

  • Use pain relievers: Take ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory drug to help with the pain and reduce the swelling.
  • Keep your feet elevated: Helps with blood flow to the foot and reduces pain.
  • Keep it on ice: Put an ice pack or even a frozen bag of vegetables (wrapped up in a towel or cloth) on the fractured toe to help with the pain and swelling.
  • If pain continues, see your doctor: If the pain becomes too great, be sure to check with your doctor and have an X-ray taken.

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  1. I fractured my little toe when I was in high school back in the 60s. So stupid was I that I did it in the morning and put my shoes on and went to school and limped on it all day. When I got home and took off my shoe, the toe was purple and black from the bruising. My Mom called our doctor who said to tape it with white medical tape and that I should not wear regular shoes for about a week. I wore moccasins to school for the rest of that week. It healed fine.

  2. Marianne Freitag January 11, 2022 at 12:31 pm · Reply

    What can be done for rib fractures?

  3. PEMF therapy also assists with healing while also impacting pain receptors. There are numerous studies on the efficacy. Home options can be expensive but prolonged use may make up for the lower dose/Hz/gauss in some lower dose devices.

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Colin Schaller
Colin Schaller

Colin graduated from Marquette University with a degree in communications and has more than 10 years of experience in small marketing firms to Fortune 500 companies. Colin is married to his wonderful wife, Brooke, and they have two children. Outside of work, Colin enjoys golf, going to the gym, watching movies (he is a Star Wars nerd), tinkering with his home theater and spending time with family and friends.