What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Toe?

Each foot has 14 phalanges, or toe bones, which work together with the metatarsal bones to facilitate movement. A fracture in any of the toe bones can be quite painful and interfere with the foot’s proper function. Unfortunately, the toe bones are quite small and fragile, and can easily sustain fractures from repetitive stress, a hard kick, or a heavy object dropped on the foot. If you experience any of the potential signs of a broken toe, you need to contact a podiatrist in Chicago right away. A podiatrist can perform a thorough exam, including a review of your imaging scans, to determine the true extent of the injury. broken - toe

Identifying the Signs and Symptoms

When you go to the podiatrist for your exam, be specific about the symptoms you’re experiencing. A broken toe typically causes intense pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness. You may find it difficult to walk or place weight on the affected foot. In some cases, the toe can look crooked or out of place. This indicates that the foot doctor will need to straighten the bone, either non-surgically or surgically. You may notice blood pooling underneath the toenail if you broke the toe by dropping a heavy object on it.

Getting an Accurate Diagnosis

To develop an appropriate treatment plan for you, the foot doctor will need to determine the extent of the fracture. A broken toe may involve either a displaced or a non-displaced fracture. A non-displaced fracture is one in which the broken ends of the bone are still aligned properly, whereas a displaced fracture involves the partial or complete separation of the broken ends. After performing a physical exam, your podiatrist can take X-rays to thoroughly evaluate the injury.

Receiving an Effective Treatment Plan

The symptoms of a broken toe are painful, but your podiatrist can provide professional treatment that significantly reduces your recovery time and allows you to return to your usual activities quickly. Your foot doctor might recommend taking pain relievers, wearing a larger shoe, and immobilizing the toe. Some patients may require a walking cast. Plan to keep weight off the foot while it heals and apply a cold pack several times daily to reduce the swelling.