Symptoms of a Broken Toe


Our feet contain 26 small bones, 19 of which are on our toes. In most cases, a broken toe is caused by some sort of trauma or injury. Even though a broken toe is painful, it mostly doesn’t require hospital treatment.

This type of injury can be inconvenient because it prevents the patient from walking and doing his or her everyday activities.

Human feet; source:

What Can Cause a Broken Toe

Toes usually break when we drop something heavy on our foot (an anvil, for example, or a piano), or, as you can guess when we stub them against a hard object, such as sofa, or an anvil J To prevent this from happening, don’t go barefoot especially at night and in unfamiliar environment. We have all experienced how much it hurts to stub your toe. It makes you want to set your sofa on fire! So we can only imagine what it feels like to stub a toe and actually break it!

Another, luckily not so common cause of a broken toe, is repetitive and prolonged movements. They cause a hairline fracture. For people with osteoporosis even wearing improper shoes can cause a fracture.

Signs and Symptoms of a Broken Toe

(Luckily?!) you can’t not-notice it.

It causes bruising, redness, swelling, and a loooot of pain! All of these signs make walking almost impossible. In more severe cases, it can also lead to deformity. In the open fracture scenario, a bone can penetrate the skin, and it can cause bleeding. That is very dangerous because it can lead to infection. If you have any of these symptoms seek professional help.

Broken Toe Treatment

Even though it is mostly treated at home, a broken toe does require medical diagnosis procedures, such as x-rays and treatment. A doctor can also prescribe you pain medications and give you the following advice:

  • Raise your foot to reduce swelling
  • Apply ice packs for 15 to 20 minutes every couple of hours
  • Try not to walk and put pressure on the injured foot

To recap…

A broken toe is mostly caused by trauma or injury that occurs when we drop a  heavy object on our foot or stub it. Signs and symptoms include pain, swelling, bruises, redness, and inability to walk. Even though a broken toe is not a life-threatening condition, it requires medical diagnosis and treatment. If you have an open fracture immediately seek medical help.