Fractured Toe vs Broken Toe Q & A
Do you have a fractured or broken toe? If so, you might be wondering which it is and what to do about it. Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates has a Q & A on fractured toes vs broken toes! For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from Walnut Creek CA, Brentwood CA, Concord CA, Pleasant Hill CA, Pittsburg CA, Antioch CA, Alamo CA, Danville CA, and Oakley CA.
A broken or fractured toe usually isn’t a big deal, but it might cause you some confusion. Which is it? A break or a fracture? Is there even a difference, and how should it be treated? To give you a better idea of how to handle it, here’s a bit of a Q&A on fractured toes vs broken toes and some info about how to deal with it!
Is a broken toe or a fractured toe ever an emergency?
There are some rare instances when a broken/fractured toe is an emergency. It’s an emergency if the complications are life-threatening, like when there’s profuse bleeding or severe tissue damage. When bone is exposed through the skin, then there’s a major risk of infection, so this is also an emergency.
The rest of the time, a broken bone/fracture isn’t a big deal so long as it’s treated promptly. If it isn’t treated right away, it can worsen and spread, leading to other complications like osteoarthritis, or at least you’ll be unable to bear weight and walk properly, possibly leading to another injury. A broken/fractured toe shouldn’t be treated by your primary care physician, as you’ll have to wait for an appointment, so instead, go to urgent care or come see us here at Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates. We may be able see you right away without the need for an appointment. Call us if you need this service.
Is there a difference between a fractured toe and a broken toe?
Actually, there’s no difference whatsoever! A fracture and a break are the exact same thing, even though one may sound different or even more severe than the other. For the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to a fractured toe as that: a fractured toe.
You’ll know you have a fractured toe when the toe is:
- Severely bruised with toenail discoloration
- Intensely painful with throbbing pain
- Compromising your ability to walk
If you notice the issues above, then that’s how you’ll be able to distinguish a fracture from another injury, but you might need a doctor’s opinion. To diagnose a fracture, a doctor will check your toe and take or order an X-ray.
How is a toe fracture treated?
As for treatment, it usually begins with helping the injury heal, then the patient will manage their pain as the fracture continues to heal. This can be done with over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. For severe pain, a prescription can be written up for a stronger painkiller.
Helping the injury heal entails reduction which is aligning or manipulating the bone pieces back to their proper positions. This process is unusually noninvasive. Before providing reduction, icing or an anesthetic injection can be provided to numb the area.
After reduction, immobilization is necessary, which is making sure the bone pieces reconnect over time. Taping, splinting, casting, and/or wearing a stiff-bottomed shoe can be a part of immobilization. It’s rare that surgery is necessary. We can also provide surgery if you need it here at Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates.
Do you treat fractured toes near me?
Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates treats fractured toes and has multiple locations in the Walnut Creek and Brentwood areas. Please see our Locations page for the location nearest you, its address, and its contact information. Call us today at the location near you. We may be able to see you without the need for an appointment, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need same-day treatment for a fractured toe. We can also help if you’ve already received treatment elsewhere but are still having problems.
We hope to hear from and help you soon!
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