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Toe Fracture in Children


A toe fracture

is a break in a bone in your child's toe.

Foot Anatomy

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Pain, redness, swelling, or bruising
  • Not being able to bend or move the toe
  • Not being able to walk or put weight on the toe
  • Toe is bent at an angle that is not normal

Seek care immediately if:

  • Blood soaks through your child's bandage.
  • Your child has severe pain in his or her toe.
  • Your child's toe is cold or numb.

Call your child's doctor if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child's pain does not go away, even after treatment.
  • Your child's toe continues to hurt even after it has healed.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Treatment for a toe fracture

may include any of the following:

  • Buddy tape, an elastic bandage, or a splint may be used to support your child's toe in its correct position. Buddy tape means the fractured toe and the toe next to it are taped together.
  • A support device such as a cane, crutches, walking boot, or hard-soled shoe may be needed. These help protect your child's broken toe and limit movement so it can heal.
    Walking Boot
  • Medicines may be given to prevent or treat pain or a bacterial infection.
  • Closed reduction is used to move your child's bones back into place without surgery.
  • Surgery may be needed for a more severe break. Wires, pins, or other hardware may be used to keep the bone in place while it heals.

Manage your child's symptoms:

  • Help your child rest so the toe can heal. He or she can return to normal activities as directed.
  • Apply ice on your child's 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 child's toe above the level of the heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your child's toe on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
    Elevate Leg (Child)

Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Toe Fracture in Children (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.