How do you fix a broken toe?

I dropped a t.v. tray on my big toe last night and I think I broke it. The tray hit right underneath my toe nail and where it landed is all purple and the toe is kinda swollen. It hurts to put any pressure on my foot… even my heel. I can wriggle the toe just a little (when it moves it hurts really bad) but I can’t bend it. I didn’t go to the ER last night because I didn’t want to pay the costs of it and I couldn’t go to the doctor this morning because I can’t afford to miss work! I’ve been taking my shoe off at my desk and I’m limping around pretty badly because the shoe is putting pressure on the toe. So how can I fix my toe?

You should really go see a medic but put a buddy bandage on it i.e. bandage it to toe beside it. Try to stay off it and keep it elevated as much as possible buy some light pain killers.

Oh and did I say see a medic :wink:

Hope your pinky gets better soon.

PLease don’t wait for it to heal. Get an X-ray.

I broke my little finger, and just let it heal. It healed crooked, and it is now (a year later) painful for me to type A and Q. And I’m sure when I do get a doc to look at it, it will run mucho dinero to straighten.

My husband broke his toe in August, when he dropped a desk on it. Spent lots of money for an xray, but the doctor didn’t do anything. The bone had a vertical crack in it from the tip of the bone down a little ways, and there really wasn’t anything that could be done except wear sandals until the toe had healed up enough that wearing a regular shoe was comfortable. I seem to recall it took about a week or so for that to happen. The toenail also fell off after about a week and is growing back.

I broke my piggie–the one that had no roast beef–when I caught it on a bed frame. I showed it to an orthopedic doctor at work and he said to just buddy bandage it to a neighboring toe and try not to wear tight shoes if possible.

If you’ve seen those soft splints made for the finger you know they are too long for a toe. But if you get the soft kind that have a thin metal strip between two soft pieces of fabric and fasten with velcro you can cut or break those in half. Sand the sharp edge a bit and cover with a piece of tape. You will now have two little toe sized splints that are just the right length and provide much need support. Put the splint on and tape that toe to the one next to it.

Oh and you should try to be more careful in the future. :wink:

As has already been said… RICE that sucker!

Rest it as often as possible
Ice it all the time…will reduce swelling
Compression…not as important, but taping it will do
Elevating…Reduces swelling so the healing can begin
OTC Anti-inflammatories for pain and swelling

Tape the little bugger to another toe, but be careful not to do it too tight. There is no need to go to a doctor to set it, unless you can see it’s not positioned right. A fracture(this is a fracture most likely, not a “break”), will take about 6-8 weeks to heal.

Remember…IANAD, but I was a Sports trainer for several years. If it gets REAL swollen, or it’s not getting better in a few days, definitely go see a doc.


Do what GaWd said. (only instance you’ll hear me say that- no offense/nothing personal GaWd)

I’m a former EMT and have broken several toes, most recently this last summer. All a doctor would say is, “Yep, it’s broken, give me $$.”

Buddy tape it for two months. It seems like a long time, but it takes a long time to heal. Wear sandals, take your shoes off at work, if you can. That way people won’t look at your feet and say, “Why does your toe look that way?”

Because I didn’t tape it long enough.

Time for redneck medicine. all you need is a roll of scotch tape and a popcicle stick. put the stick(cut it shorter to fit) in between your toes, put on a few layers of tape, and enjoy.

Also, this cure can slightly modified, and then is known as Redneck Viagra. I just hope to god that it takes a longer stick than youre toe…

if you’re having trouble walking, you could always call a toe truck.


I’ve been taking my shoe off when I’m sitting at my desk but I’m afraid the smell is going to run everybody out of the building!! I think I’m scorching my own nose hairs!

I agree with the above. I hadn’t heard the RICE before, but it’s good advice.

  Depending on how broken it is, and how much it hurts when touched, you may want to wrap the whole foot in gauze. This provides no medical benefit in itself, but people are much more careful around your foot.

 My experience with the doc was the same. I took off my soc and he said "I can tell you right now it's broken. I'll refer you for an x-ray." The doctor who looked at my x-ray"Your toe is in fact broken. Here's the break. There's no way I can splint that break. It should heal in about 2 months."

Still, if you can somehow scrape together the cash, see a doctor. The toe could heal crooked. The bone could knit improperly, meaning it’ll break again soon. There’s an outside chance that nerves or bloodsupply to the toe could be cut off. I’ve got it! Just post a few photos of the toe in this thread. With all the brains on the SDMB. somebody’s got to be qualified and willing to give a medical opinion.

:peering at pic of swollen, bruised toe splinted with popsicle stick and scotch tape with scorched nose hairs stuck to it:

Oh yes, I’d say that’s definitely broken. That’ll be $50 please.

[sub]Since I’m only pretencding to be a Dr., you can only pretend to send me money. I accept Paypal[/sub]
I am an RN though and the RICE treatment is right on the money. The only thing I can add is after 48 hours you can alternate hot and cold applications. For heat applications wet a washcloth, place it in a zip-loc and microwave it for less than a minute. For cold, nothing is easier than a bag of frozen lima (or kidney) beans. Their size makes them thaw slower and the bag can be easily molded around the injured area. When done just throw the bag back in the freezer until next time. Mark the bag–Do not eat–just in case someone decided to make succotash.

Just what I need… a picture of my big fat purple ugly toe out there for the world to see. I’ve been elevating the foot as much as I can and, so far, no one has fainted from the stench coming from my work area!

How can you fix a broken toe?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me fix my broken toe,
and let me live again.

Has anyone mentioned duct tape?

With a toenail?

ROFL, Manduck

As for that pesky “they’re feet, not roses” problem, I have a tip. Get some spray antiperspirant/deodorant (Rightgaurd works well) and put a spray of it on each sock (not the bare foot) just before you put your shoes on. Been doing it for years without a problem.

My husband took this tip (thank god) and has since referred to it as the best grooming tip he ever received. He has passed it on to many grateful people.

BTW, my son probably broke his toe a while back and, since I know what a collossal waste of money a trip to the ER would be, I just did the RICE thing and buddy taped it. Healed fine. You can always get it straightened out later if need be. To fix it at this point would be the same deal. I don’t think they can do a closed (non-operative) reduction of a fracture if a couple of days has passed.

Why does you foot smell Rach? Is it any better?

I can’t say anything else cause I can’t give any medical advice without getting banned.

Just to give a worst-case scenario… My sister was a diver, and she once cut a flipping dive too close to the platform and broke all 10 of her toes at once, she whacked them against the edge really good. She went to the doctor and they xrayed to confirm, but said they could do nothing. They told her to keep off her feet as much as possible, but that’s it.

Can I buddy tape my big toe to the toe next to it?? Everyone I’ve talked to here at work said I shouldn’t because it may cause my big to to heal crooked?!? My toe’s not doing too bad. I still haven’t taped it but I’m keeping it elevated. It’s still kind of purple but not as swollen.

ejrn, I’ve used that trick before! I haven’t needed to do that for awhile because I never have my shoes off at work. I did put some spray on this morning and it’s much better!!

Smelly feet must be an inherited trait. My brother’s feet smell worse than mine. Mine only smell funny when I wear pantyhose or black socks and it’s only noticable when I take my shoes off. I don’t want people here to think you can smell my feet from a mile away or anything. Nobody would ever be able to be close to me if that were the case!