Toe Fracture Treatment
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Toe Fracture
Treatment will depend on how serious the injury. Proper treatment can prevent long-term complications or problems with the toe joint, such as misalignment and immobility. Treatment involves:
- Putting the pieces of the bone together, which may require anesthesia and/or surgery
- Keeping the pieces together while the bone heals itself
Realigning the Bones
In many toe fractures, the bone is broken but the two pieces are in proper position. If the bones are out of position, the doctor will put the bones back into place. This is usually done without surgery. However, if your fracture is severe, you may need pins or screws to hold the bones in place. Each of these will require surgery. Sometimes, the joint of the toe is injured in the fracture, and severe joint injury may require surgery. Toe fractures in children may involve the growth plates. This may require that a specialist examine the fracture. Surgery is also possible. Once the bones are realigned, they need to be held in place while healing. The fractured toe may be taped to the toe next to it, or you may need a walking cast with a toe plate.
The following drugs may help reduce inflammation and pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
If you have a fracture, check with your doctor before taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
- Rest-Do not participate in sports or activities until your toe is fully healed.
- Ice-Apply ice or a cold pack to your toe for 15-20 minutes, four times a day for several days. This reduces pain and swelling. Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel. Do not apply ice directly to your skin.
- Elevation-Keep the injured foot raised above the level of your heart for 48 hours (such as on a pillow). This will drain fluid and reduce swelling.