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Broken Fourth Toe

by Carissa
(Oregon)

day 1 broken toe?

day 1 broken toe?

day 1 broken toe?
day 3 broken toe?
now after buddy tape

Almost a week ago I broke my toe (i think) I'm not sure because I'm not understanding how it would have happened. The first couple days I was taking ibuprofen and icing it. The pain has worsened along with the bruising. About 3 days ago I was trying to move it and was messing with it. Yesterday I was working out which consisted of pushups crunches sit ups and planks. I think I made it worse because since the it has been more painful to walk unless I had iced it before. My dad said there's not much they can do but he has not seen it in person. The people that have seen it said I should go in but they are the kind of people to go the the doctor for anything and everything. Stupid me decided to Google it and I'm finding a bunch of different opinions and statements. I would just like a good answer by someone that hopefully knows more about this type of injury. I'm 18 and don't really know what to do.


RESPONSE

Hi Carissa,

You can guess all you want as to whether or not your toe is broken, but the only way to know for sure is to have an x-ray. There is no such thing as a toe "looking" broken.
Yes, if you go on the internet, or talk to friends and family, there will be people that state there is nothing you can do for a broken toe. That could not be further from the truth.
A
broken bone is a broken bone regardless of where it occurs on the body, so I never understood why a broken toe bone should be treated any differently then a fracture elsewhere.
The problem with a broken toe bone or any broken bone for that matter, is that if it does not heal properly, you will be left with what is known as a pseudoarthrosis or incomplete healing of the fracture site.
What this means going forward, is that you may always have pain in that particular toe from the stress of walking, across the unhealed fracture site.
You cannot really put a cast on a broken toe, so we do what is known as buddy splinting which is taping the affected toe to the adjacent toe in an effort to stabilize the traumatized toe. If you have a fracture, particularly a simple fracture, then the bone should heal.
If you should happen to have a more complicated fracture, then splinting may not do the trick, but again the only way to know the severity of the fracture, if there is one, is by having an x-ray.
Going to the gym, particularly doing push-ups which force the toes to bend, was not exactly the smartest thing you could do for your toe, as push-ups force the toe to bend and if the toe is actually broken would make matters worse.
Going to a doctor to have an x-ray is not exactly open heart surgery, so why not discuss it with your father and make an appointment.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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