Maybe Broken Middle Toe

Updated on June 10, 2011
L.N. asks from North Palm Beach, FL
13 answers

i wish i had gone to medical school, so i can answer this myself.
so, i was rushing like a crazy person to get the kids to school this morning. my head said go grab the baton, my legs turned to go get the shirts. and i banged my foot on the iron part of the couch. and i heard cracking. and it hurt like...a lot. it's not purple, a bit swollen, but it is facing the other direction. like there is space between two toes. and it hurts to walk. so i called my gen. doc. who said i can only send you to get an xray done but really there is nothing else i can do. i called an orthopedic office who said they can see me next month. i don't want to go to ER. so googling my issue most sites said do buddy-tape, tape two toes together. and i did. what do you all think? i don't want to go to ER unless i have to.

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So What Happened?

Thank you most helpful moms. It did turn purple. I have it taped. I can still walk. And I did forego the idea of going to the ER. I didn't want to spend countless hours for something that I can do at home. Thank you again.

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

It's a podiatrist (not an orthopedist) who can best help you. Although many times it is true that a broken toe is left to heal on its own. Feel better.

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answers from Dallas on

Buddy-tape time. Even if it's broken that's really all they can do to fix it. Then you've saddled yourself several thousand in ER fees for medical tape. Prop it and ice it and take some ibuprofen for pain and swelling. Ouchie, hope you feel better soon!

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answers from Richmond on

I'm a former EMT (and broken my fair share of bones)... there's nothing they can do but confirm that it is broken. Don't waste your time or money at the ER, tape those suckers together, keep it elevated, and keep ice on it today. Unless there is a serious visible deformity (the bone about to poke through your skin), stay home and self medicate. Let's be honest, if you were rushing around then you deserve the chance to sit down and relax... now you have an excuse ;)

PS, there's probably no space between the toes because it's swollen. If in 4 to 5 days it's still excruciating pain and you can't bear ANY weight on it, THEN go see the doc. You could also slide a popsicle stick below the toe and THEN tape it to further help stabilize it... toes heal beautifully on their own ;)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I've had a broken toe. Cracked the upper bone into two. They taped my toe to the one beside it, gave me some crutches and sent me on my way. They really can't do anything else for it unless it's so bad it needs corrective surgery which is silly rare. Mine was a pretty bad break that kept me on crutches for 6 weeks or so. Unless you are in severe pain walking on it at all and need the crutches (you'll know if it's that bad, trust me!) there is no reason to go in. Just keep it elevated when you can, stay off of it when you can, ice it for any swelling and take something like Tylenol for pain.

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answers from Raleigh on

Don't go to the ER! Such a waste of time and money. All they are going to do is tape your middle toe to your second toe and send you on home. It will hurt for awhile, but Google is right, it is all you can do (my mom is an RN and we have all had our share of broken toes, so I speak from experience!).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Taping it is the way to go. Can't do anything other than that. Feel better

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

the docs right, the only thing they can do for your broken toe is the wrap it up and tell you to keep re wrapping it every night and take it easy so it can heal!
im so sorry! this same thing happened to me last spring! the toe is still sore and i re broke it once after that. once you break it you have to be very careful not to keep hitting it on stuff because it breaks easily!

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answers from Salt Lake City on

I agree with all the others to save your money and just buddy-tape it to the next toe. HOWEVER, be sure that whatever shoes you're wearing with them have firm soles. I made the mistake when I broke my toe a few years ago of taping it, but the tennis shoes I wore were too flexible so the toe healed wrong and still hurts if I barely bump it into something. I finally broke down and went to a foot doctor, and he told me that I should have worn shoes with firmer soles.

Good luck!

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answers from Austin on

It hurts like the dickens. I broke both of my pinkie toes in a 5 minute period.. All you can do is tape that toe with the toe next to it.. That is all they will do for you at an ER, Dr. Office.. etc..

So sorry..

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answers from Redding on

Broken toes hurt SO badly! I was getting ready for work one morning and bumped the ironing board with my hip. The iron fell on my foot. I knew immediately I'd broken my big toe. It was swollen, black and blue. I got an x-ray and it was definitely broken, but they gave me a splint thing to tape it up in, told me to alternate ice and heat and keep it elevated as much as possible.
Unless it's completely dislocated or the bone is sticking out of the skin, there's not much to do with a broken toe. I broke a rib and they wrapped me up and told me it was going to hurt like hell for 4 to 6 weeks while it healed. That was that.
Alternate putting ice on it and then soaking it in hot water with epsom salts.
Buddy tape. Keep it elevated as much as you can.
The doctor will give you pain medication if you feel you need it, but unfortunately, broken toes are one of those things you just have to ride out.

Hopefully it will be feeling better in a few days.
Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Don't really have answers to your question, but advise on how to sleep with it.

IF you get the kids water floats that go around your childs arm, and place it on your foot (blown up), so that your foot is secure it will protect it.

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answers from Binghamton on

Call orthopedists until you find one that can fit you in and get an x-ray. A bad break needs to be treated to save you from problems later.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Xray and tape is what they will do - it happened to me 2 years ago (my doctors office was able to do the xray). I also got a note to work from home for a few days. I didn't feel I could tape it well myself.

In a situation like this, an urgent care can be useful to go to as the waits can be much shorter.

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