Although the toe bones are small, they play an essential role in walking and balance. Toe injuries can also affect a person’s gait and damage other joints like the hips or knees. The toes’ crucial role in daily life means that a broken toe can be bothersome and extremely painful.
Although some people think there is nothing they can do about a broken toe, it is is not always the case. Untreated broken toes can lead to painful problems down the road. Foot fractures are common, so it’s good to know the symptoms of a broken toe and know when to contact a doctor.
Here’s how to recognize and treat a broken toe, the different types of fractures and breaks, healing times.
Treatment of a broken toe
In most cases, an orthopedic surgeon or a family doctor will diagnose a broken toe using a physical exam and an x-ray. A doctor can often see a displaced fracture with a visual examination of the toe, but they can still recommend an X-ray to assess the damage and determine the treatment the person needs.
In consultation a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and by following the toe care instructions, affected individuals can aid the healing process.
Treatments for a broken toe include :
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation: This method is useful for many types of injuries, including broken toes. It can decrease pain and help the toe to heal faster. This may be all a person needs to treat a minor toe fracture.
Toe tapping: This involves wrapping the toe and sticking it to the adjacent toe to support and protect it.
A postoperative shoe or boot: These devices have a rigid sole that allows the person to walk without bending the toe. They also help keep part of the body’s weight on the painful toe.
Fixation of the bone: For more serious displaced fractures, a doctor may need to put the bones back to their original condition. room for healing. To do this, he usually uses numbing drugs to decrease the pain.
Surgery: Surgery may be needed for more serious toe fractures. Surgeons may need to place a wire in the toe to align the bones and allow them to heal in the right place.
It is important to note that the bags should not be used. ice for more than minutes at a time. They should never be placed directly on the skin, as this could cause frostbite. The duct tape should also not be wrapped around a toe in a circular fashion, as this could restrict the blood supply to the toe and cause permanent damage.
Doctors have standard or default treatment options for toe fractures. These vary depending on whether or not the fracture is in the big toe. In all cases, the goal is to keep the toe as still and straight as possible to aid the healing process.
Big toe fractures
The treatment of these fractures is done in two stages. Doctors first recommend wearing a walking boot or cast, along with a toe plate, for about 2 to 3 weeks. They will then recommend a stiff-soled shoe for 3-4 weeks.
Fractures of a smaller toe
Doctors recommend compression bands and a rigid-soled shoe for 4-6 weeks.
Symptoms of a broken toe
The most common symptoms most common of a broken toe are pain and difficulty walking. The intensity of these symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people may be able to continue walking on the toe after a fracture, while others may find the pain debilitating.
Factors that may influence the symptoms of a fracture the toe are as follows:
– the severity of the fracture
– the fact that the bone broken either came out of its slot or moved
– the way the bone broke
– the place where it is broken, especially if it is near a joint
– other health problems, such as gout or arthritis.
A toe can break in several ways. It could be a stress fracture, a fall or the fall of an object on the foot. Because the symptoms are so varied, and the fractures can be mild or severe, many people find it difficult to tell the difference between a broken toe and another injury, such as a muscle sprain or a large bruise.
The symptoms of each type of fracture are as follows:
Painful and important events, Such as a fall, a strong impact on the toe, or a fall of an object on the toe, can cause a fracture of the toe. These types of fractures, called traumatic fractures, are common. Traumatic fractures can be minor or severe. Sometimes you hear a “pop” or “crack” sound when the bone breaks, but this is not always the case.
Symptoms of a traumatic fracture appear immediately after the event and may include the following:
– pain that does not go away with rest
– a throbbing pain
– a swelling
Many traumatic fractures are characterized by a visible bruise that is purple, gray or black in color.
These symptoms can persist for several weeks if the person does not seek treatment.
Stress fractures are generally small capillary fractures that occur after repeated stress on the bone. They are a type of overuse injury and often occur in the bones of the legs and feet. Stress fractures can occur months or years after starting an activity, such as running, that puts pressure on the bones. Stress fractures can occur when the muscles in the toe become too weak to absorb the impact. Without muscle support, the toe bone becomes vulnerable to pressure and impact. Too much stress on the bone ends up causing it to crack.
Symptoms of a stress fracture of the toe are as follows:
– a pain that occurs after activities such as walking or running
– pain that goes away with rest
– pain or tenderness to touch
– swelling without bruising
A displaced fracture means that the broken bone has moved. This can happen with more serious traumatic fractures. A displaced toe fracture can make the toe look askew. In some cases, a displaced fracture can rupture the skin and push the bone out of the wound.
Healing time of a broken toe probably varies from person to person. However, the average healing time for a big toe fracture is around 5-7 weeks. For fractures of the little toes, it will be around 4 to 6 weeks. While it is possible that things could go wrong, only a small proportion of people with a toe fracture require surgical follow-up.
Toe fracture or sprain?
Sprains differ from fractures in that the former affects muscles and ligaments. A sprain occurs when there is an injury to the muscles and ligaments in the toe. Although toe sprains and fractures are quite different, their symptoms can be similar.
The symptoms of toe sprain are as follows:
– difficulty walking
It may take 4 to 6 weeks for a sprained toe to heal. As with broken toes, rest and rigid-soled shoes are the mainstays of treatment for sprains.
Possible complications of a toe fracture
The different types of toe fractures can present common complications:
Sesamoid fracture: Sesamoids are small bones at the base of the big toe. Sesamoid fractures can have difficulty healing, causing long-term pain and negatively impacting athletic performance.
Hallux fractures: Hallux fractures are fractures of the big toe proper. They can cause deformities of the foot and big toe. These fractures can also reduce the range of motion of the big toe, leading to long-term difficulty walking.
Surgery: Surgical procedures to treat fractures of the toe can cause nerve damage and lead to infection.
Cartilage damage: If a fracture enters a joint, it can injure the cartilage and lead to deformity and traumatic osteoarthritis of the joint.
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