Toe Fractures

What is a Toe Fracture?
A toe fracture is a break in one of the 26 bones located in the foot. Traumatic fractures are those caused by a direct impact to the foot, like dropping something on it or stubbing your toe very hard. These can be either displaced or nondisplaced. A displaced fracture is one that has had the fractured bone forcefully moved out of position, whereas a nondisplaced fracture is simply when the bone has fractured, but not moved. 

Signs and Symptoms

  • A sound at the time of the break may be heard
  • "Pinpoint" pain (pain where the impact occurred) at the time of the fracture and possibly a few hours later. This usually resolves after several hours, however.
  • Deviation of the toe, where the toe is misshapen or abnormal
  • Bruising or swelling the next day

Stress Fractures
These are tiny breaks that are usually caused by repetitive stress (like someone who quickly increases their running distance without giving their body time to recover from the increased stress) or by abnormal foot structure, deformities, or osteoporosis. Wearing the wrong shoes for your feet may also lead to stress fractures. These should not be ignored, as they can return unless properly treated. Symptoms of stress fractures include:

  • Pain during or after normal activity
  • Pain that dissipates while resting, then returns when standing or during activity
  • Pinpoint pain
  • Swelling, but no bruising

Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist if you experience the symptoms listed above. Left untreated, these can lead to more serious problems. Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment option for your case.