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Have I Broken or Sprained My Toe?

Many people have stubbed their toe by hitting it or dropping something heavy on it, felt pain, and wondered if it was broken. It might be a sprain but it is important to know if the toe is broken because if left untreated, a broken toe can lead to problems in movement and later down the road, potential for osteoarthritis or nerve damage. If you hear a bone break, feel intense pain and the toe swells, see discoloration, or have trouble putting weight on it, the toe might be broken. With a bad break, there can be a dislocation and the toe will look like it is at an odd angle. With a sprained toe, all the same symptoms may be present but the toe should not look dislocated and it should feel better sooner than a broken toe. Also, with a break, the pain is often felt right where the fracture has taken place versus being more generalized around the toe with a sprain. Prevent such injuries to your toes by refraining from going barefoot, especially in the dark and in unfamiliar areas. If symptoms do not get better in a few days, it is suggested to see a podiatrist who will take X-rays and provide you with a definitive diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe

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