Busting Broken Toe Myths


For some reason, there is a lot of bad information out there on the web pertaining to diagnosing and treating broken toes. We’ve set out to bust a couple of myths and put forth a couple of facts about broken or fractured toes. Check it out:

Myth: If you can walk on it, it’s not actually broken

This myth has caused some people to painfully walk around on a broken toe for days before getting it checked out by a podiatrist. If you’ve suffered toe trauma and are noticing swelling and bruising or any other major toe change, it is most likely a broken toe – even if you can still walk on it!

Myth: you can’t do anything to help a broken toe

Treating a broken toe early is necessary to ensure proper healing and prevention of permanent damage. If you’ve suffered a blow to the toe, use the RICE method as quickly as possible. That’s rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This will prevent swelling and bruising. While you’re resting, pick up the phone and call a foot doctor to get on the right path to treatment.

Fact: An untreated broken toe will become a permanent issue

This is true! A broken toe that is left untreated will likely become permanently bent and stiffened. This will likely progress into arthritis, chronic pain, or other complications.

Fact: There are many ways to treat a broken toe

Everyone’s toes are different and no break is the same – that’s why it’s necessary to check in with a podiatrist if you sustain a broken toe. They can help determine the best treatment out of one of the following common options:

  • Splint – cushions the toe and prevents it from moving
  • Cast boot – A rigid boot that protects from further injury and immobilizes the toe
  • Buddy taping – taping the broken toe to the one next to it helps to decrease movement and promote speedy healing
  • Surgery – if your break is on the extreme side or you have a severe dislocation, your foot doctor might see surgery as the best option

If you’ve broken your toe or sustained a toe trauma and are unsure of the injury’s severity, give us a call. Dr. Stuart Snyder here at Maple Springs Foot Center is here to help assess and treat any foot or ankle issues you might be experiencing. To get in touch, request an appointment online or call our office conveniently located in Gaithersburg, MD at 301-762-3338.