If you like to tip-toe through the tulips, test the bath water before you get in, or ever have the urge to jump for joy, you need your toes to be in tip-top shape. Toes help our feet push off of the ground with every step. They allow us to run, jump, kick, dance, pivot, and reach things that are above our heads! So, if you experience a broken toe, it can be rough to continue doing the things you love, not to mention your daily activities. Don’t get the blues, though! There are things you can do to help speed up recovery, depending on the location and severity of your fracture.
Let’s Talk Toes
You have 19 toe bones on each foot, otherwise known as phalanges, as well as metatarsal bones, which are the long bones in the midfoot that connect to them. It’s actually quite common for these bones to break—after all, we are constantly using them! Repetitive movements over time, like in certain sports, can cause stress fractures and cracks that can eventually completely break with continued use. Other times, sudden injuries, like jamming your toe or dropping something heavy on it, can lead to a broken bone.
If you have a broken toe, you will likely notice stiffness, bruising, and swelling. Pain will be evident at the site of the fracture. You may have difficulty walking or participating in certain activities. It’s possible that you’ll hear a popping sound at the time of injury, and there may be deformity if the bone is displaced. It is best to seek a professional diagnosis to be sure of proper treatment. If the bone does not heal correctly, it can result in permanent deformity, chronic pain, and arthritis.
Keeping You on Your Toes
A visit to Podiatry Associates, P.C. will confirm if you have a broken toe and determine the location and seriousness of the injury. If the bone is out of place it will need to be realigned (called reduction), which may involve surgery. However, in most cases conservative treatment options will be all that is necessary.
At the top of that conservative treatment list is rest. Take weight off of the area and elevate your foot when at all possible. This will keep swelling and pain to a minimum and allow for much-needed healing time. Ice and anti-inflammatory medication can aid in relieving your discomfort. You may be fitted with a splint or rigid shoe to keep your toe immobilized—casts are rarely needed. Sometimes “buddy taping” is recommended, which means your toe is taped to the one next to it to keep it in place. Follow-up care with us will ensure proper healing. Typically, full recovery takes about six weeks.
If you think you may have a broken toe, don’t tip-toe around the problem! Make an appointment with Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen and the team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. Just call (303) 805-5156 to visit us in Parker or Castle Pines, CO. We’ll help you determine the best treatment plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.