Signs of a Broken Toe

A broken toe is usually a fracture of any of the phalanges bones forming the toes, which not treated on time, can be painful.

Generally, this condition occurs due to acute impact or trauma although stress also has the power to facilitate it slowly, over time.

Impact or trauma can result from a myriad of injuries, such as accident, intense fall, sporting activity, sudden stumping, and dropping something heavy or sharp on the toe.

Exploring Toe Fractures in Depth

Human toes are composed of 14 bones, which are known as phalanges, two bones in big one and three in each small toe. Phalanges are fractured more in small toes, while the big toe might suffer somewhat less.

broken toe
Usually, fractures of smaller toes are such that they are not easily detectable by the patient; image source:

This is particularly common among adolescent players or athletes. Of all the possible tow fractures, the most common one include a broken pinky or little toe and broken big toe. Other toes usually remain protected by each other due to proximity.

The big and small toes are more likely to be exposed hard objects or falls.

Signs and Symptoms of a Broken Toe

Usually, the injury pain will give you a signal of broken toe. In case of acute or severe condition, the bone can protrude via the skin to become visible or deformation might be noticed on the toe. The signs and symptoms are generally confined to the fracture’s site or location on toes.

Swelling and pain are the most common signs and symptoms. However, their presence does not confirm the condition. They might be indicating some other condition.

Therefore, diagnosis is essential. Due to swelling and pain, you might find it difficult to stand up or walk.

After swift swelling, the toe might show bruising, which might be a sign of the linked injury of soft tissue. In severe impact, fractures also might displaced, which is indicated by deformation. In case of a traumatic toe, symptoms include pain felt immediately when injury strikes.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Common signs are likely to build up quickly once the fracture takes place. However, the severity of these signs is dependent up on the fracture’s severity. Following are these common signs/symptoms:

  • Tow pain and swelling,
  • Bleeding or bruising,
  • Stiffness, numbness, and tenderness,
  • Sensation of burning,
  • Tough to move the toe,
  • Difficulty in strolling or standing,
  • Tingling,
  • Signs of other serious condition.

Critical Signs and Symptoms

At times, a broken toe can prove to be critical due to which it needs an emergency medical care. Following are the critical symptoms that need immediate care:

  • Protruding bone,
  • Too much bleeding,
  • No pulse of lower extremity,
  • Injuries to other body parts,
  • Confusion for a moment,
  • Loss of consciousness for some seconds.

Usually, the fact is that fractures of smaller toes are such that they are not easily detectable by the patient.

Osteoporosis and fractures

Osteoporosis is marked by weakening and thinning of bones. The weak bones might break up further during normal activities that do not incur any harm. Overuse of intense activity can also lead to minor bone fractures or stress fractures.


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