What Does A Sprained Toe Feel Like?

How to Tell if Your Toe is Broken – New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates, P.C

The first sign of a broken toe is throbbing pain; a bad break can also dislocate the toe, causing it to rest at an unnatural angle. The only way to know for sure if the injury is a break or a sprain is to see a doctor.

What to expect when you see your doctor

An X-ray can usually diagnose a broken toe, and a broken toe that doesn’t heal properly can lead to Osteoarthritis. Tell your doctor if you notice numbness or tingling in your toe, as this could be a sign of nerve damage.

Treatment of a Broken Toe

There’s not much your doctor can do about a broken toe; it’s up to you to rest it and keep it stable, as well as take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

Splinting your toe

Buddy taping entails taping a broken toe to its neighbor and using the non-broken toe as a splint to keep the broken toe from moving too much. A gauze pad is usually placed between the toes to avoid skin irritation.

Surgery and additional treatment options

Learn how to properly tape your toe so you can replace it on a regular basis. With a walking cast, you should be able to walk and resume most non-strengthening activities within a week or two, though recovery time may be longer if the break is in one of the metatarsals.


Consider getting a shoe with a hard sole and a light top that will relieve pressure on the injured toe, as well as Velcro fasteners that you can easily adjust.

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Ice and elevation

Wrap ice around your injured foot, making sure it doesn’t come into contact with your skin.

Take it slow

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic with multiple physical therapy clinics throughout the Albuquerque metro area. Our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to long-term, chronic care diagnoses.

How do you know if you sprained your toe?

Pain in the toe, especially when walking, difficulty moving the toe, and swelling are all common symptoms of a sprained toe.

How do I know if my toe is broken or just bruised?

A broken toe can cause the following symptoms:

  1. Swelling around the toe and sometimes into the foot.
  2. Bruising around the toe, such as black or blue.
  3. A change in the shape of the toe if a bone is out of place.
  4. Difficulty moving the toe.
  5. Significant pain when walking or putting weight on the toe.

Can a sprained toe heal quickly?

A sprained toe usually takes three to six weeks to heal completely; the more severe the sprain, the longer you’ll need to wait. Keep your toe taped for about four weeks, though your doctor can give you more specific instructions.

How long does it take for a stubbed toe to heal?

Even after a few weeks, your toe is likely to be tender and swollen, and you’ll need to avoid running, playing sports, or walking long distances for one to two months after your injury. If the break is in one of the metatarsals, recovery time may be longer.

Can my toe be broken without pain?

If you can walk on it without pain or limping, your toe is most likely not broken.

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Can you bend your toe if it’s broken?

Can you move a broken toe? u201cIf you can still move it, it’s not broken.u201d u2013 False. While it may be possible to move and walk on a broken toe, you should avoid doing so because it can result in even more damage and a longer recovery time.

Can a broken toe heal on its own?

With proper home care, most broken toes will heal on their own in 4 to 6 weeks, with most pain and swelling going away within a few days to a week. If something was dropped on the toe, the area under the toenail may bruise.

What can happen to an untreated broken toe?

Untreated broken toes can result in: Long-term toe pain; broken bones can cause ongoing pain if not allowed to heal properly; and walking on the broken toe too soon can delay or prevent healing.

Does a sprained toe bruise?

A sprained toe should not appear dislocated; it will still swell, but there will be less bruising; and it will be painful for several days before improving.

When is a stubbed toe serious?

A stubbed toe is simply a toe that has been badly slammed; there may be swelling or bruising on the surface, but there is no serious injury beneath the surface; however, a broken toe is a more serious injury with harsher symptoms and consequences: prolonged pain, stiffness, infection, and deformity.

What does a sprained pinky toe feel like?

Pain while moving the toe, a throbbing sensation, and tenderness to the touch are the most common symptoms of a sprained pinky toe.

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Can a stubbed toe hurt for days?

Your toe will hurt when it happens and for a while afterward, whether it’s stubbed or broken; however, while the pain from a stubbed toe will subside, the pain from a broken toe will last for the rest of the day and possibly longer. A stubbed toe may result in some bruising or bleeding.

Why does a stubbed toe hurt so much?

Because you’re slamming a tiny surface with a force of 2-3 times your bodyweight when you stub your toe, a bundle of nerve endings called nociceptors fires a danger signal to your brain.

What does stubbed my toe mean?

: to injure one’s toe by stumbling over something.

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