“Did I Break a Toe?”

We all have our idiosyncrasies. Some funny, not so funny, irritating to others, irritating to yourself, obsessive, careless – basically, there is no end to some of the silly and inane habits we can’t seem to shake

Perhaps the worst kind are those that cause you pain. You know, like stubbing your toe simply because you weren’t paying attention to your surroundings. The people who do so most often are those who walk around their homes, barefoot, at a brisk clip, always in a hurry to get somewhere. They think they know all the angles – where the door jambs are, how far dresser edges extend from the wall – until one day, wham. They kick it on the fly simply from walking too fast and not paying attention.

And yet, at the end of the day, how you stub your toe isn’t so much the issue as the harm you may have caused.

For most of us, thankfully, the pain subsides, and things get back to normal fairly quickly. But not always.  Sometimes you think you break it, but just can’t tell. Here are some of the signs that might indicate you’re right:

  • Severe bruising
  • Intense & throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Deformity
  • Difficulty walking
  • Toenail discoloration
  • Crooked & misshapen appearance of the toe

What to Do for a Broken Toe: Care & Treatment

Broken toes don’t usually require x-rays as both broken and badly bruised/injured toes are often treated with the same methods, including these:

  • Ice
  • Rest
  • “Buddy taping,” where the broken toe is taped alongside a neighboring healthy toe
  • Casting, if the toe has become dislocated
  • Wearing podiatrist-provided stiff-soled shoes to support the fracture
  • Pain & anti-inflammatory medication

Fractures of the big, or great, toe are often more severe than breaks to the others. If the joint is disrupted or the bones have become dislocated, the toe may require surgery.

Why You Should Not Just “Leave it Alone”

When in doubt, see your doctor. Because despite popular myth, broken does do not always heal themselves.  In fact, the lack of prompt and effective treatment can lead to:

  • Motion limitations
  • Arthritis around the fracture
  • Non-healing & worsening of the fracture
  • Chronic pain
  • Compound fractures & infection
  • Difficulty wearing shoes

Is your toe throbbing in pain right now? Then hobble on over to MedCare Express on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington. We’re the only urgent care center in Greater Hartford that’s open 7 days a week, 8 am to 8 pm. Plus, we have our own X-ray lab and adjacent pharmacy.