Toe (Phalange) Fracture Salt Lake City

Introduction

Toe fractures can certainly hurt, but they are rarely incapacitating. Toe fractures most frequently result from trauma. The majority of toe fractures heal without surgery.

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Anatomy

Your toes are part of your forefoot. Your big toe (hallux) contains two bones (phalanges). The rest of your toes contain three bones. Your toes help you balance and move.

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Causes

Toe fractures are most frequently caused by traumatic injury. A direct impact, such as dropping an object on the toe, walking into a solid object, or significantly stubbing the toe can break a bone. Ballet dancers and some athletes are at risk for toe fractures.

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Symptoms

Toe fractures can be very painful. You may have a sudden intense pain when the bone breaks; followed by pain that may go away. You may be able to walk, but walking will probably increase the pain. Your toe may look swollen, bruised, or deformed.

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Diagnosis

Your podiatrist can diagnose a fractured toe by reviewing your medical history and injury circumstances, and examining you. An X-ray will be taken to see the fracture.

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Treatment

Most toe fractures heal without surgery. There are many ways to help your toe “rest” so it can heal. You may wear a toe splint or your podiatrist may “buddy tape” two of your toes together to provide support and stability. You may need to wear a rigid walking shoe to protect the toe.

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Surgery

Surgery may be used to realign bones that have broken and moved out of place. Surgery may be necessary if a fracture involves a joint. Surgical hardware, such as pins, may be used to hold the bones in place while they heal.

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Recovery

Recovery is individualized and depends on the extent of your injury and the type of treatment you receive. It can take several weeks for a toe fracture to heal. Your podiatrist will let you know what to expect.

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Prevention

It is important to see a podiatrist if you suspect that you have a toe fracture. Treatment is necessary to prevent complications such as deformity, chronic pain, loss of use, and bones that fail to heal.

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Am I at Risk

You may have an increased risk of a toe injury if you do not wear shoes. People that participate in certain sports or ballet may have an increased risk of toe fracture.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.

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Utah Foot and Ankle

Our goal here at Utah Foot and Ankle is protect the health of both our patients and staff members. We will continue caring for our patients while strictly adhering to the precautionary measures per the COVID-19 CDC guidelines. Our offices will be open 8:30AM – 5:00 PM.

To further assist patients during these uncertain times, we will be offering virtual consultations which can be scheduled by emailing us at: [email protected] COVID-19 is dynamic situation so we will closely monitoring the situation on a daily basis as new findings emerge.

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Sincerely,
Dr. Doug Toole, MD & Dr. Taylor Wright