Broken Toe, What to Do?

Updated on February 08, 2013
J.B. asks from Marrero, LA
15 answers

So I was racing around trying to get myself and the kids out the door tonight and i caught one of my middle toes on one of my kids rockers. My toes stayed put while the rest of me jutted forward, I actually screamed. It went all hot for a bit and then started throbbing. Now it is pretty sore, I can't bear weight on it, it is purple from the knuckle up to the nail where it turns a lovely shade of dark blue. I have these loose fitting sketchers that I can get into and hobble around in. Is there really anything one can do for a hurt toe? Other than stay off it as much as the mother of three small children can? How long till it heals? I have no broken toe experience......

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answers from New York on

I've broken several toes. Nothing really can be done other than taping the toe to it's neighbor and hobbling around for up to 6 weeks. It sucks.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

I recently stubbed my pinky toe and, after it hurting for weeks, I went to the doctor just in case there was something more I should do. I had tried taping it as well and it hurt worse.

The doctor X-rayed and it was cracked, not broken. I had told the doctor that I had tried taping it but it hurt more. He said that taping would have made it feel worse based on where the crack was as every time I took a step it would cause it to pull on the crack. So taping it is not always the best course of action. If you try taping and it feels better, then go for it. But if it hurts more, then don't do it.

Unless the bone is sticking out or the toe is in a weird position, there isn't much they can do.

You can get a walking shoe from a medical supply place if there is one nearby. I think it's sometimes called a post-surgical shoe. It's opened toed and has a hard supportive bottom. I found it helped a lot when I had to walk around as we had to travel for a wedding during the time I was recovering.

It will probably take 6 weeks or so to heal.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Tape it to the toe next to it. Tylenol and ice. Nothing else you can do

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I have broken several toes and can assure you, a doctor will do absolutely nothing for you except possibly x-ray it and tell you, "Yup, it's broken. Take it easy!"

You can tape it to the next toe to keep it stable, and if you have a pair of snug fitting clogs, the doctor always recommended them to me because they have no flexibility in the toes and keep your toes fairly stable. Other than that...I wish you well! It'll get better!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

Yep, just buddy-tape it. :) I broke my "pinkie" toe several years ago, but only after my brother had already done the same thing. When my brother did it, he and I were the only ones home, so we went to the ER. Needless to say, they buddy-taped it and sent us home with information on a midfoot fraction. Ummm.... Sorry, doc, but it's a phalangial fracture, not a midfoot.... Oh, boy, was that a fun trip... :)

So when I broke mine, I called my husband and told him. He asked which ER I wanted to go to. I said, "Well, I know they're just going to buddy-tape it, so.... If you're up to it, you could just put it back in place and I'll tape it." (It was turned out 90* the wrong direction.) Needless to say, he did NOT feel up to pushing it back the right way, and I couldn't make myself do it, so off to the ER we went... *sigh*

As for how long it takes to heal... I'd guess around the standard 6 week period, but I couldn't tell you. All I remember is wearing flip-flops to work (I was teaching) for a while until I could stand to get my foot into a normal shoe.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Tape the broken toe to the toe next to it. The tape helps secure the sore toe from moving too much. Keep them taped a few days to keep movement at a minimum.

I know all too well from experience and dr visits!

Of course see the Dr if the pain and/ or movement not better in a couple of days. Advil, etc is a good reliever. My mom swears by an Epsom salt bath for the foot.

Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

So sorry.. It will hurt for about a week and be sore for a while then tender every once in a while.. ..

Tape it to the next toe.

I broke both of my pinky toes within seconds of each other.. I am such a Klutz.. Dr.. said to tape them together..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I broke the big toe on my right foot once. Broke the top bone into 2 pieces.
Only thing they could do was give me crutches and a walking shoe and taped it to the other toe.
Unless the bone is broken in such a way that they need to surgically fix it there isn't anything else they can do for it.
Keep off it as much as you can, elevate it when you can.
Mine was pretty bad and took the better part of a month to heal enough that I could use that foot again and to this day I can't bend it right.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I broke a toe by slamming my foot in a car door. Because this happened at work I did go to the doctor and as everyone else said there is nothing that can be done for it except to tape it to the next toe.

I cut out the toe top of an old pair of tennie runners so that the toe would be free of pressure. I walked mostly on my heel. I was then traveling, sight seeing and on my feet a lot. I think it took several weeks before I could wear regular shoes. Less than 6 weeks, I think. The major pain and discomfort was probably 2-3 weeks. I was off my feet while driving but it wasn't elevated. I don't think it matters whether or not you stay off your feet as long as being on your feet doesn't make the pain too bad. I was not going to miss all the sights.

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answers from Boston on

When it happened to me, the doctor said all you can do is tape it to the next toe (he called it a "buddy toe") to serve as a splint. The black & blue is normal and will fade - it will turn to red and then green and then yellow as the blood is slowly absorbed. Wear any comfortable shoes you can manage, and just hobble for a bit. Elevate it when you can to reduce swelling and aid in the blood redistribution. It will heal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I hit my little toe on the corner of a couch over a year ago. Didn't do anything for it - no taping, no dr. appt. That little toe became a fat toe.
Then 5 months ago, I hit the toe next to it. Very same thing....FAT.
I recently went to Bone and Joint doctor for another issue and he x-rayed
my toes. Yep, they were broken. Nothing could be done. I don't recommend doing nothing, like I did. Taping sounds like a no-brainer.
Wish my brain would have thought of it. I don't have much hope that
they will ever be exposed in any cute summer shoes any time soon.
I may only feel the pain in the first few steps every morning. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My dh broke his second toe in & had been seen in the hospital b/c of the fall down the stairs, they had x-ray'd his foot but all they did was tape it & that was it....unfortunately. They told him to take tylenol & ice it. Feel better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

tape it(loosely) to the next toe, ice it 20 minutes at a time for the first 48 hours after injury, take ibuprofen for the swelling(you can also add tylenol for the pain, they can be taken together), elevate it when you can, stay off of it as you can. hope you feel better soon!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

A coworker of mine just broke 2 toes :( so sorry! It takes about 4-6 weeks for complete healing, but should start to feel better within a few weeks. I agree with everyone else tape it if that makes it feel better. Ice and elevate it as much as you can. In addition you can also use an ace bandage over the taped area to help give the whole foot more support. My friend at work found that helped a lot.

I broke my thumb a few months ago and it hurt like H-E double hockey sticks!

Oh and Ibuprofen can help too! that is all they gave me a prescription for and as the RN gave me the RX he said that I can take the over the counter stuff instead of filling it, it's the same stuff. I just took 3 instead of the normal 2. Hope it gets better soon!



answers from Atlanta on

You cant put a cast on a toe so there is nothing you can really do for it. It just has to heal

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