Broken Toes 101

“But there’s nothing that can be done for a broken toe…”

Whether you are the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers or just a weekend warrior who likes to run, toe fractures happen to everyone and occur often. While some toe fractures are minor and do not require much intervention, many can require surgery to minimize the long-term issues that can occur due to these injuries.


There is a common misconception that “if you can walk on it, it is not broken,” or that a broken toe does not need an x-ray. However, this is not always the case. An x-ray will often reveal if a broken toe is rotated or displaced, which is not always evident by looking at the physical appearance of the toe. Fractures of the big toes always need to be evaluated as they are crucial for stabilization and propulsion. They have the most long-term consequences.

Treatment & Healing

Toe fractures can take anywhere between 6-10 weeks to heal. Treatment for toe fractures includes rest, splinting, rigid shoes, buddy taping, and possible surgery. Splinting and rigid shoes help keep the toe immobile. Buddy taping can also prevent excessive movement. If the fracture is displaced or not healing correctly, then your doctor may discuss the possibility of surgery. To ensure proper healing, prompt treatment is necessary – delayed or improper treatment may result in impaired movement, development of arthritis, or deformity.

Our foot and ankle doctors are trained to evaluate your needs and develop a unique treatment plan to fit your needs. Schedule an appointment with a provider today.

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