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How to Know if Your Toe is Broken

Have you ever stubbed your toe so hard you’ve wondered if you’ve broken it? Or maybe you dropped something heavy like a bookcase corner or a dumbbell on your foot. If the pain goes away pretty quickly you don’t have a lot to worry about, but if your toes stay swollen or get bruised, you should make an immediate appointment with your podiatrist.

Here’s how to check if you’ve broken your toe or not:

PAIN: When you’re walking around, do you feel pain on and around the injured area? General pain doesn’t necessarily mean that your toe is broken, but lasting pain that continues to get worse means that something is not right.

TINGLING: If you feel a tingling sensation along with the pain, you should immediately see a podiatrist. There is a very high chance that your toe is fractured.

SWELLING: If your toe is swelling, it’s more likely that you have broken or fractured your toe. If you have just stubbed it, the pain may be sharp but you will notice that after it goes away, your toes look normal for the most part.

EVENNESS: Check both feet and see if you can spot any noticeable differences in either the alignment of your toes or the size (swelling). You should also look to see if it’s misshapen in any other way such as a bone popping up or sticking out sideways. If this is the case you should get to a doctor right away.

BRUISING: If your toe is bruising (not just a little black and blue) but purple, black, yellow and greenish you most likely have a toe fracture. If you notice the bruise continues to spread and the pain is still severe, get treated right away.

MOVEMENT: If your bone is moving to the touch, it is broken and needs to be treated by a doctor immediately.

Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients in the Centreville, VA area for over seventeen years. If you have any questions or think you may have injured your foot or ankle, call us at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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