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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A toe fracture is a break in 1 or more of the bones in your toe. It is most commonly caused by a direct blow to the toe.
- NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. You can buy NSAIDs without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider which medicine is right for you, and how much to take. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems if not taken correctly.
- Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Antibiotics: You may need antibiotics if you have an open wound. This medicine helps fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Buddy tape: Keep your toes taped together for as long as directed. Change the tape and bandage after you bathe, and when they get wet or dirty. Always put a small piece of gauze between your toes before you tape them together.
- Special shoe: You may need a special shoe or walking cast. This will protect your broken toe and limit movement so it can heal. The shoe may also make it easier for you to walk.
- Rest: Rest your toe so that it can heal. Return to normal activities as directed.
- Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your toe for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- Elevate: Raise your toe above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your toe on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your pain does not go away, even after treatment.
- Your toe continues to hurt even after it has healed.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- You have severe pain in your toe.
- Your toe is cold or numb.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.