Treating a Stubbed Toe


Stubbing your toe can be quite a startling and painful experience since the toes have very little cushioning tissue to insulate from the shock, and also have a multitude of nerve endings that announce the pain to your brain. So frequently a stubbed toe injury can be very painful without being too serious. In some instances, however, you may have sustained a more severe injury that may require professional treatment.

What if I broke my toe?

This is a very real possibility. The symptoms of a toe fracture include: severe pain when you put weight on the toe; bleeding under the toenail; and swelling and bruising that lasts for several days.

A severely stubbed toe may involve a tendon injury, ligament sprain, or complete joint dislocation. Other complicating factors may include the possibility of infection and the development of osteoarthritis in the toe that was affected, sometimes years after the initial injury.

Treatment for a stubbed toe

The pain of a minor stubbed toe will usually subside within a day or two. Pain persisting beyond that may be an indication of a more serious problem requiring the services of a foot care specialist. After an initial foot inspection to look for any signs of a deformity, an x-ray will be performed to confirm the existence of any broken bones. A broken toe can be treated by taping it to the toe next to it and wearing a special boot or shoe for immobilization during the healing process.

Surgery may be necessary for correction in severe cases and also to remove any bone fragments that may have become lodged in the joint area. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.