I Stubbed My Toe, Broken?

Updated on December 13, 2011
S.B. asks from Cape Coral, FL
17 answers

I haven't had much experience with broken bones (did fracture my toe about 10 years ago). Its getting purple and have sharp pain when I bend it. I have been icing it but when should I go see a dr? Even if its broken, they cant do much. Is it just piece fo mind to go to a dr? If I can wait until Monday, should I?

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So What Happened?

I have wrapped my toe, its the 2nd from the end (do they have names? lol) It has ben 8 hours since it happened. It has been 4 hours since I went to bed and have woken up every hours since. I kept a pillow under my foot in bed to have it elevated. Two hours after I went to bed, took an ibuprofen for the first time. Two hours into after that woke up and took another. Now at 2 am trying to distract my brain for a little bit and its working. My toe has constant sharp pain and it feels like its on fire. I remember 'the boot' from last time and on the 2nd day stopped wearing it but promise I will this time, anythign to make this go away lol. The thing I worry about is, this saturday going on a 4 day cruise. Two of the days we will be at islands. That is going to be so hard to "stay off it" !! I will; do everything I can to make this heal asap, ugh...

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answers from Dallas on

My husband broke his toe about two years ago and it is still bothering him. He went to the doctor last week. The doctor told him he should have come in when it happened so that it could be immobilized properly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

In gheneral... just tape and wear steel toed boots (or other stiff shoes).

HOWEVER... how severe is the bruising? Is the angle of it EXACTLY as it should be? If it's off-set, it will need to be set. I've set my own toe twice, it's not fun, but I've set other bones in the past and know how.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Colorado Springs on

Feels broken to you; sounds broken to me. You'd do well to see a doctor. Meanwhile, wrap it and the toe next to it with gauze and adhesive. That will immobilize it a bit. Maybe that will be all you need to keep doing, but, since you're not an experienced toe-breaker, it would be good to check with the expert on it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

There is nothing a doctor would do. Just make sure and keep it elevated and cold packs on it. Sorry you got hurt....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Actually, its not true to think that doctors won't do anything for a broken toe--it depends on which toe is broken. You don't say which toe is the problem.

I slipped a few years ago (on stairs) and broke my big toe in 3 places (oy, 3 places?! my big toe isn't that big!); I also fractured the smaller toes, plus some of the little bones on the top of my foot. I always thought that if you broke a toe (any toe), the doctors won't do anything for it... Not true.

The big toe carries 50% of the weight carried by that foot (or, 25% of your total weight). So you have to be very careful if you break your big toe! If it doesn't heal properly, you might have to have surgery to put pins in it (in order to avoid arthritis and other problems later on). If you broke the other toes, they should be kept protected and stable, but don't pose as much of a concern (in regard to orthopedic complications).

If your big toe is numb and you feel that your circulation/temperature is being affected, I strongly encourage you to go to the doctor... You really do not want it to heal bad. I went to an orthopedic/athletic injury doctor but all you really need to to determine if you have nerve damage to consider and how badly it is broken (is it fractured or did the bone actually sever and it needs help being aligned?) You could go to any urgent care clinic that has x-ray capabilities and decide if you need an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist based on that.

A doctor can also prescribe you a non-cast "orthopedic boot" for the time it will take for the toes to heal. (Your pharmacy should sell them). I know it sucks to hobble around in a "boot"... But athletic shoes are going to be too restrictive, especially if your foot/toes are swollen and you definitely don't want to wear anything with a heel (which would attribute weight on the ball of your foot and toes, plus bend your toes). Flip-flops aren't good, because those types of shoes force your toes to grasp the bottom of the shoe when you walk (to hold it on) and that's gonna hurt and delay healing.

Remember to boost your calcium supplements.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There's almost nothing they can do. I shattered my toe (seriously, the bones shattered) one time extremely bad, and they made me wear this show thing. I think they only do that for really serious breaks. You're probably already doing what they would prescribe...ice, elevate, and ibuprofen!



answers from Tampa on

My son just went to the doctor yesterday for his big toe and it did end up fractured. The ONLY reason I took him to the doctor is because he is diabetic and there is concern with feet with diabetics. Other than that they won't do anything for him and the radiologist said, "it would heal up just fine!" So the only reason I would recommend going to the doctor is if you are in too much pain. Good Luck!



answers from Kansas City on

Yeah, I did it too! I was on the phone and not paying attention and I walked full on into the high chair! When I looked down my toe was at a 90 degree angle....blech! I only went to the hospital b/c I absolutely could not bear to set it myself. No way, no how. It was a pain to have to go to the ER, have it x-rayed, etc., but worth it b/c I wasn't going to put it back in place myself!!! Double Blech!

Anyway, if it's just bruised but still pointing in the right direction, not angled or otherwise malformed, I'd tape it to your other toe and move on! It took about 4 weeks for me to be able to run on it and walk normally, which sounds ridiculous...I felt kinda lame for not being able to work out b/c of a toe! ;) I wore that awful stiff shoe for about a day and then was over it. It is safer but they are hard to walk in, so I'd go for whatever shoe makes it feel better. Good luck!



answers from New York on

Yes, see a doctor. I was having pain in my toe and went to see the doctor and told me it was the result of an old break many years ago that did not heal properly!


answers from La Crosse on

If its a straight break there may not be much they can do about it other than tell you to wear a shoe one size too small. That's what they told me to do when I broke mine ( broke the last 3 toes on one foot).

But I would still get it get it x rayed to make sure that it is a clean break and there is nothing they can do. My uncle broke his in a jagged way and had floating pieces of bone. They had to put a pin in his.

Better be safe than sorry. I feel for ya.. it hurts so bad!



answers from Chicago on

these ladies are all correct...did the same thing a couple of years ago...okay, I kicked a file cabinet because I was so angry at something my children did. They laughed and laughed and I had a broken toe. Moral of the story, punch pillows. About your toe, oh yes, the other ladies are right. Listen to them.


answers from San Francisco on

You can also tape it to the next toe as kind of a splint.



answers from Provo on

That is just the worst. Sorry!! I hit my foot on the corner of the wall once and my little baby toe was hanging down. I kept it iced and the next day when I needed to go to work I used to band aid to keep my last two toes together and tied my shoe tighter then normal.



answers from Philadelphia on

Yep- sounds broken. Sorry, I know it hurts- I did the same thing last May. Tape it to the next toe, keep off it as much as you can, ice it if that helps. I didn't bother with a doctor because I knew they were going to tell me to keep doing what I already was, so it would've been a waste of time. It took about 12 weeks to heal up on its own. Good luck!


answers from San Diego on

There is nothing at all that they can do if it is broken but tape it to the one next to it and tell you to take it easy. If it is severe enough that you can't walk on it at all they can give you crutches.
I broke my toe and that's all they could do. I needed to be on crutches because it was a pretty nasty break, I broke the upper bone on my big tow into two pieces.
Otherwise it's really not worth going in.
It is so extremely rare to have a break that requires something like surgery to heal correctly. I doubt it's that bad ;)



answers from Charlotte on



answers from Houston on

I broke my toe on thanksgiving......did some research. We have more bones in our feet than the rest of our bodies combined. When we break our toes there really isnt anything that can be done or needs to because the other non broken bones support it efficiently enough to withstand the pressure of activities. I wouldnt even waste your money or time on a dr. itll be 50% better in a few days. Mine is almost completely healed and it was realllllllly bad purple and swollen and i was limping. Now only my upward facing dog position suffers.

If it was the big toe my advice would be different, but the second toe from the end, thats the exact one i broke.....i even heard a "pop"

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