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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 07, 2016
Category: Toe Pain

Did you know that there are 19 toe and metatarsal bones in each of your feet? That’s a lot of possible fracture sites! At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we want dispel that myth that “there’s nothing that can be done for a broken toe.” An evaluation by the foot doctor is necessary for proper treatment and to prevent more disabling problems in the future.

Types of Fractures

Fractures of the toe fall into two categories:

Traumatic fracture—these breaks are also known as “acute fractures” and occur as the result of a direct blow or sudden impact to the toe such as dropping a heavy object on your foot or stubbing your toe very badly. A traumatic fracture may be displaced (the toe has moved out of its normal position) or nondisplaced. You may hear a cracking sound when the toe bone breaks. It’s common to experience pain at the break site which may last several hours and then go away. The toe may also swell and bruise the day after the fracture.

Stress fractures—most often caused by repetitive stress to the toe, stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone that do not go all the way through it. Serious athletes often experience stress fractures, although they can also be caused by a deformity or defect in foot structure or poorly fitting footwear. Signs of a stress fracture include: pain during or after activity that goes away when you rest the foot, pain at the site of the stress fracture when pressure is applied, and swelling.

Healing the Break

Once our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker has examined your foot and confirmed a fracture of the toe, he will determine the best treatment for you. Some common options include:

  • Staying off the toe for a period of time
  • Taping the fractured to another toe
  • Fitting the toe with a splint until the bone heals
  • Wearing special shoes to keep the toe in its proper position and protect it from further damage
  • Surgery, if the break is severe or cannot be fixed with a noninvasive option

If you believe you may have fractured a toe, contact our Washington office for an appointment today by calling: (724) 225-7410.

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