Toe fracture

Based in the heart of NY, Advance Foot and Ankle Solutions offer the best treatment for fractures occurring at the toes or the forefoot. Look no further when you can have direct access to the globally acclaimed team of foot and ankle doctors, supervising & managing your toe fracture with compliance and compassion.

Advance Foot and Ankle Solutions support team is absolutely attentive to your toe fracture issues. Call & book an appointment right away for a professionally healed toe.

Toe Fracture: According To Your foot And Ankle Care Specialist

The Arrangement Of The Toes In The Forefoot: The most distal part of the forefoot are the toes numbering 5 in a normal pentadactyl person. Out of these the first one consists of 2 phalanges while the rest comprise of 3 phalanges each, bringing the tally to 14 phalanges in all.

All of these toes work together in a harmonious way to enable a foot to function normally. Damage or breakage of any of these can be a cause of extreme pain and restricted movement, altering your routine living pattern. Toe fractures rarely need surgery to heal up; you are required to practice rest and limited motion of the broken toe(s) and let the Mother Nature take its course.

How Serious Is a Toe Fracture: Although fracture in the toe(s) are a common occurrence and seldom call for a foot and ankle care surgeon to intervene with the surgical process, there is a certain degree of importance attached to this condition.

Sports persons, youth leading a sportive life or obese people fall prey to its more benign form, i.e. the stress fracture which is more often than not a case of closed fracture without any dislocation. The rest of patients sustain it either accidentally, occupationally or negligently.

Toes lie at the distal extremity of the human body and thus, are faced with poor blood and nerve supply, leading to an extended time period required for its complete healing in case of a major mishap. An injury as grave as a fracture calls for immediate checkup at your foot and ankle clinic to minimize the post-injury effects. It is your foot and ankle care doctor who would carry out a detailed examination and draw up a conclusion with regards to the best treatment methodology to be adopted for swift recovery.

Toe Fracture: The Causative Agents

  • Stubbing the toe(s) violently against a hard object either accidentally or negligently
  • Dropping a bulky object over the toe(s) from a sufficient height
  • Stressing out the toes through overuse in repetitive, high-velocity sports such as football and athletics
  • Gaining body mass (and weight) well beyond the normal BMI to pressurize the joints within the toes

Toe Fracture: The Symptoms A Foot And Ankle Care Specialist Would Look For

  • Unbearable Pain just after the injury has occurred. The pain alone is a disabling factor for you to continue with your posture or stance. As a foot and ankle care specialist is visited this sheer sign helps them in reaching a decision rather promptly and precisely.
  • Swelling of the wounded toe(s) region that augments with delays in administering first aid treatment or getting the condition thoroughly inspected by your foot and ankle doctor. Swelling casts dual ill-effects over the already agonized person; it elevates the painful sensation as well as renders your normal footwear unwearable.
  • Stiffness is an immediate outcome of a broken toe whereby the damaged region feels stiff to touch at the breakage point(s). As the fractured area is palpated during physical examination of the condition by your foot and ankle care doctor, the pain worsens to hint at the presence of fractured toe(s).
  • Bruising of the skin surrounding the affected toe(s) may be visible via skin discoloration indicating a sharp, potent impact that might have given rise to the ongoing plight. Additionally, a bruised skin may also signal a much more complicated situation of sustaining an open fracture that requires an advanced level of surgery by your professional foot and ankle care surgeon.
  • Deformity is the sign of a mishap hitting at a much higher level. Following the dislocation of the bones involved the toe(s) might appear crooked or bent abnormally, confirming their deformed state. It the big toe happens to be the unfortunate prospect, further walking or even standing erect might turn into a remote possibility.
  • Inability to utilize the normal footwear may be sharply depleted as the swollen forefoot might be difficult to be inserted into it. Your orthotic specialist needs to look into this issue to come up with a suggestion on using special orthotic footwear for as long as the swelling persists or subsides substantially as the treatment progresses.

Toe Fracture: The Treatment Methodologies Of Your Foot And Ankle Care Specialist

The Self-care, Domestic Remedy: Even though it is imperative to visit and consult your foot and ankle care doctor immediately following toe(s) injury, the following line of treatment can be employed at home in order to reduce the intense pain and swelling of the injured toe(s) that might be considerable. An untreated toe fracture can lead to chronic arthritis & pain and can seriously hamper normal walking motion.

  • Ice Packs can be applied to the injured region for 20-25 minutes with the procedure to be repeated every 2-3 hours for at least 2-3 initial days. Bare ice should be avoided to prevent “ice-burns” over the skin.
  • Elevation of the foot bearing the injured toe(s) is essential to reduce swelling and the ensuing pain. The foot should be raised slightly above the heart level when lying down.
  • Lifting Weight should best be avoided or extremely limited to ward off any chances of producing further damage to the already bruised toe(s).
  • Compression of the forefoot with the help of wrapping it lightly in soft dressing such as a crepe bandage to provide prop to the wounded toe(s), is a time-proven remedy.
  • Rest is by far the most potent of all methods specifically employed in the healing process of broken bones wherever in the body they happen to be distressed. Doing away with heavy workout and standing or walking for prolonged periods become an inevitable norm until your toe(s) have sustained substantial healing.
  • Orthotic Devices may be needed during the course of entire treatment so as to speed up healing. These devices range from crutches to wearing specially designed footwear during walking to shed any load or pressure off the injured phalanges.
  • Pain Management can be effectively done through over-the-counter painkillers. For serious conditions, stronger medication is advisable only on your foot and ankle care doctor’s prescription.

Intervention By Your Foot And Ankle Care Specialist: Following the homemade remedies, the immediate need that arises is to get your wounded forefoot comprehensively examined, evaluated, diagnosed and treated by your foot and ankle care specialist. A professional checkup is fixed at a foot and ankle care clinic where your foot specialist would carry out several procedures prior to arriving at a definite conclusion and planning an effective strategy for best results.

  • Physical Examination comprises of:
  • Taking complete history
  • Confirming the existing symptoms
  • Examining the injured foot
  • Comparing with the normal foot
  • Palpating around the wounded region for taking note of swelling, tenderness, bruising, skin discoloration, deformity, numbness, skin abrasions or open wounds
  • Technical Examination comprises of:
  • Studying the X-ray image film for the detection of major crack(s) within the bone(s)
  • Studying the MRI that creates a computerized image of the foot if extremely minor or hairline stress fracture(s) are suspected that usually appear invisible in an X-ray
  • The Therapeutic Treatment: The treatment process by your foot and ankle care specialist or surgeon varies in accordance with the type of fracture and its location.
  • Taping Together Or Buddy Taping: This is an option wherein small or minor breakages in any of the four smaller toes are managed. The damaged toe is simply taped to its adjacent normal toe so that the former remains propped against the latter to speed up the healing process. Whenever the tape is replaced, a soft cotton bud or gauze is to be inserted between the two taped toes to prevent the skin from developing blisters or sores due to prolonged contact.
  • Casting: This usually becomes imperative when the big toe and/or its joint has been fractured or several smaller toe fractures occur simultaneously. Casting is also required whenever a bone in the foot or lower leg is broken additionally with the toe. However, a simple toe breakage can be managed without it. A footwear especially recommended by an orthotic specialist should be used that is tough, hard-soled, comfy and supportive to accommodate the swelling in the foot and toe regions.
  • Surgical Reduction: Reduction is reverting a badly injured toe to its original state through manipulative surgery which is performed within the premises of a foot and ankle care clinic. With your displaced toe fracture or a reversely rotated broken toe, your foot and ankle care surgeon would carry out the reduction process under localized anesthesia. The operated toe would then be amply supported to hold together its injured bone to let it heal naturally.

Toe Fracture: Post-surgery Complications

Even after the constructive toe surgery, there may arise certain complications of temporary or permanent nature. The probable ones are listed below:

  • Even after the toe fracture has completely healed, the patient might be left to suffer a certain degree of pain, rigidity, deformity or arthritic condition.
  • In rare cases, the fractured bone(s) fail to heal up completely (non-union) or follow an improper healing pattern (mal-union). Both conditions call for another round of corrective surgery of the misshaped part(s).

Toe Fracture: Recovery Time & Preventive Measures

The normal recovery period for a fractured toe is 6-7 weeks, if there aren’t further complications to deal with. The healing span essentially requires rest and minimal exertion over the wounded region for resumption of routine life within shortest possible interval.

The precautionary and preventive measures can be summed up as below:

  • Light exercise on daily basis as prescribed by your physiotherapist
  • Minimal exertion of weight and pressure over the healed toe
  • Rugged and supportive footwear to be worn at all times
  • Limiting active, sportive lifestyle to compensate for the bruised forefoot