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Toe Fracture


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. The bones in your toe may just be broken, or they may be out of place or separated.


Seek care immediately if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You have severe pain in your toe.
  • Your toe is cold or numb.

Contact your 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.


You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Antibiotics treat a bacterial infection. You may need antibiotics if you have an open wound.
  • 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.


  • Use buddy tape, an elastic bandage, or a splint as directed. These help keep your toe in its correct position as it heals. Buddy tape is when your fractured toe and the toe next to it are taped together.
  • Use support devices including a cane, crutches, walking boot, or hard soled shoe as directed. These help protect your broken toe and limit movement so it can heal.
  • Rest your toe so that it can heal. Return to normal activities as directed.
  • Apply ice on your toe for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Elevate 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.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to see a podiatrist in 1 to 2 weeks. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.