Probably a Broken Toe

Updated on November 28, 2011
K.K. asks from Traverse City, MI
7 answers

so I was rushing, and trying to clean things up. I picked up a TV tray out of the stand and immediately dropped it straight down onto my bare feet on my hardwood floor. I kind of crushed my middle toe. broke the skin, possibly broke the nail and the bottom edge, like the cuticle area. this was yesterday around 3pm. I was having 10 people over for dinner at 6, had a turkey in the oven, and boxes of Christmas decorations EVERYWHERE! so I hobbled through it, changing the band aid a zillion times cuz it was bleeding and everything. Today was payroll at work, so taking the day off was not an option. Most of the toe is now really bruised and purple, the cut is still seeping/bleeding a little.
From what I understand, they can't do anything for a broken toe anyway and all they do is tape it to the one next to it. Mine isn't a stub/joint break...its more of a crush, so i bet there is even less they can do.
I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that just keeping it clean with neosporin and bandaids and elevating/icing when I can is good enough. does anyone really think that its necessary to go to the doctor and pay him $120 to tell me that its injured, and I should do what i'm already doing? I'll go with majority rules on this one.

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answers from Richmond on

Tape it up well, and stay off of it as much as possible. Keep it elevated and iced down for the first 48 hours.

Bruising is totally normal, so don't worry about that too much unless you lose feeling in the tip of your toe.

If when you press on it (once the swelling goes down) and it feels like cracking, like broken egg shells, then you really DO need to get to the doctor for X-rays (and probably a pin and plate).

Take Tylenol for pain, you'll probably need it first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

If it's not better in 5-7 days (better being manageable), then see a doc.

Soak it (unwrapped) in warm water and epsom salts after the first 48 hours.

Me personally, I would NOT go to the doctor (I'm a former EMT)... you already know what to do ;)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I have done some wonderful things to my toe - nearly cut it off, broken it, crushed, etc. All to the same poor digit mind you. In my opinion I wouldn't go to the doctor just yet. I would continue doing what you are doing. I would also soak it in warm water with Epsom salt several times a day. That will promote healing and prevent infection. I would keep it covered for a few days to give it a chance to scab over. After that I would leave it uncovered. If it is broken or crushed, there is nothing they can do for it. I never had mine taped. I was just told to cram it in a shoe and go about my business. If the nail is damaged, it will fall off on its own and a new one will grow. If that occurs, allow the nail bed air exposure daily to prevent infections. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I broke my toe while working and so had to go to the doctor. He x-rayed it and said, yes, it's broken. Stay off of it as much as possible. Keep it elevated, ice for swelling and pain. I cut the end out of an old pair of tennis shoes so that my shoes didn't rub against it.

I agree with you. No need to go to the doctor. You know what to do.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Utica on

Take it from someone who breaks a toe on average once every 6 months - dont waste your time and money at the doctor. If you are worried that the cut could develop an infection thats adifferent story but as for the break if you thinkits broken it probably is and yes you are right - they wont do anything more than tape it to the other toe(s) and send you on your way with instructions to rest it as much as possible and to take tylenol for the pain. Im sorry this happened to you because like I said I am very familiar with how this feels - a bag of frozen peas and me have spent many a days together because of this type of ailment
Feel better soon =)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I have dropped a lot on my toes, stuff heavier than that and it was not broken. Bones are pretty strong where skin isn't as you have noticed. Believe it or not you probably haven't broken your toe but even if you did nothing you can do anyway.



answers from Canton on

I broke my big toe a few years ago. I wasn't going to go to the doctor, because like you, I didn't think they would do anything other than tape it. But after they X-rayed it, they saw that I had broke my bone in 3 different pieces so I needed surgery.
Hopefully thats not the case for you...but I would do what the other ladies have suggested for a few days and if it doesn't get better, then I would go see a doctor.



answers from Redding on

I've broken plenty of toes. I got x-rays, the whole bit. The only thing they told me to do was keep it iced then soak in warm water, keep it elevated as much as possible. My whole feet have turned black and blue from a broken toe.

However, since you smashed it enough to actually break the skin...I personally think you should have it looked at. If you have shattered your toe, you may need some type of cast or walking boot to keep you from making it worse trying to walk on it.
Fortunately (or unfortunately for me) I have crutches due to breaking so many things. If you don't have some, I bet you'd be advised to use some.

Get checked out.
The last thing you want is infection....

Best wishes.

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