August 6 is National Wiggle Your Toes Day, which is something many people may take for granted.  However, breaking or fracturing a toe can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, especially when wiggling.  Fracturing a toe often occurs through stubbing it or dropping something on it, but it can also occur from overuse during repetitive activities such as walking or running.

It may be difficult to determine if the toe is fractured or simply injured without an x-ray, but some of the symptoms may include swelling and bruising, deformity, and pain when putting pressure on it or moving it. Ultimately, a fractured toe can have consequences like chronic pain, infection, decreased mobility, or deformity.

After a diagnosis is made by an orthopedic doctor, applying ice, elevating the toe, and letting it rest can all help. The physician may also suggest a number of other treatments depending on the severity of the break and based upon any other medical conditions that may exist like diabetes of peripheral artery diseases. These might include:

• Taping the injured toe to the toe beside it for several weeks.
• Splinting the toe to immobilize and protect it.
• Wearing a surgical boot to keep it in a fixed position and prevent further damage.
• Surgery for very severe damage, especially when joint damage has occurred.1

Typically a fractured toes takes between four and six weeks to fully heal, but may vary depending on the location or severity of the injury. During this healing period, it’s extremely important to follow your orthopedic doctor’s instructions to ensure proper healing.

If you suspect that you may have broken a toe, please call or visit Spine & Orthopedic Center today to schedule a thorough evaluation. Our doctors can help you determine if the cause of your pain is a fractured toe, and can advise you on an appropriate treatment plan to put you on the road to recovery.