I Think I Broke My Big Toe

Updated on May 12, 2010
A.A. asks from Lansing, IL
12 answers

Okay, I'm pretty sure that I broke my big toe yesterday. I haven't gone to the doctor b/c I know that there isnt much they can do for it BUT my foot is ice cold and my big toe is totally numb.....anyone else had this or any suggestions on what to do? Thanks

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answers from Los Angeles on

Karen is absolutely right. The big toe is more like the foot than like the other toes. You have to go to the doctor. When I broke my big toe in at least 2 places, I had to wear a boot for about 5 weeks. It was a pain, but I had no choice.

Good luck!


5 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Diego on

While most of the time, I'm with ya, it's pointless to see a doctor for a broken toe... here are some of the EXCEPTIONS:

- Compound fractures (bone sticking through skin)
- Any sign of infection (fever, excessive swelling, puss, green color, black color)
- Pain beyond the toe and in the foot
- Any symptoms in the foot (like swelling, numbness, bloodflow issues)

Your toe may or may not be broken.... it could be actually one of the bones in your foot, or your toe could be dislocated (what you're describing actually sounds like when I dislocate my shoulder, my whole arm goes numb until I pull a mel gibso), there could be soft tissue damage, ripped or damaged tendons/ligaments, damaged cartilage...

In short, it's doctor time.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Owie! I'm concerned about your whole foot being cold. Depending on how you injured yourself, you could have a blood clot compromising your circulation, and blood clots can be dangerous if they break loose. Your doctor should evaluate the overall situation and determine whether a blood thinner is advisable.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Hi there!
My friend just had surgery on her big toe, she pretty much crushed the bone on the inside, they had to do surgery on the toe...they had to cut a tendon and then put a plate and some screws in it. So they can definitely fix the toe!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Hey A., There was a question about broken toes on April 8th. Below is part of my response as it relates to the big toe:

I slipped last year (on stairs) and broke my big toe in 3 places (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 broke 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.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Alternate ice and heat. Immobilize it the best you can. Take advil for pain.
I broke my toe while ironing a dress for work one day. I bumped the ironing board with my hip and the iron fell off right onto my toe. It intstantly turned black and blue and swelled to about 3 times it's normal size. The doctor offered me sometthing for pain, but that was about it. Thankfully I had some cute sparkly flip flops to wear until the swelling went down. There was no way I could cram my foot into a shoe. (My boss was not thrilled because he found open toes very inappropriate attire AND people could see how yucky it looked.
If you are experiencing coldness and numbness, definitely let your doctor take a look at it because you don't want an issue of poor circulation making it even worse.
I still can't bend that toe the way I can the other one, but it did eventually heal. Just make sure you follow up because loss of circulation can be a bad thing. And I know it hurts like heck!

I wish you the best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

The numbness and cold would send me to the doctor too. I would go, at least you will know for sure, and maybe they will give you something for pain, and I would take a note from the doctor to stay off my feet for a while too (I have a good husband for days like that!)

I hope it gets better! Sounds horrible.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would go to the doctors because you need to make sure that the blood is flowing. If the end up not putting a cast on, use lamb's wool to take away some of the pressure when walking. I wrapped it around my toe so it was protection and it helped so much.

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

My brother just broke his big toe a month ago and went to the Doctor to have it set and put in a cast and now its back to normal. So they can do something for you.



answers from Tulsa on

I have had 2 broken toes your right there is nothing to do for it. wear lose shoes limp around, whine, and tough it out :) I never iced mine just took tylenol.



answers from Chicago on

Go to the doctor to put a split on it or get crutches from the doctor. The more you walk on it the more deformed it could get. The big toe is the most important toe on the foot which is important for balance. Therefore, I would hold back on it too much longer.



answers from Minneapolis on

When faced with a similar situation last year, I consulted a friend who is a nurse. She told me to gently tape my first two toes together (it was my second toe that was ailing) for stability. I used a soft cotton gauze under the tape, so had to wear shoes that had a little more toe space. As things got better I switched to a little piece of cotton flannel and wove that between my toes for maintanence of stability without as much bulk.

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