You know the feeling: that awful split second when you’ve stubbed a toe and you wait for the pain to rush in. Stubbing a toe is a very common injury, especially when barefoot. Although painful, a stubbed toe is not usually very serious. But pay attention if the pain persists or worsens with pressure, or if there is an abnormal toe appearance, discoloration or swelling. These can be signs of a fractured toe.

Stubbing the toes is an extra painful injury because the toes have extra nerve endings that send pain signals directly to the central nervous system. Also, the toes don’t have a lot of fatty tissue that can absorb trauma.

A broken toe should be assessed by a foot doctor. Call Advanced Foot & Ankle Center for an examination and to rule out other injuries like a contusion, ligament sprain, dislocation or tendon injury.

Special Note of Caution: Contact us right away if you suspect that your child has a toe fracture. If treatment is delayed, bone inflammation, or osteomyelitis, can result. Please bring your child into our office right away.

Treating a Stubbed Toe

Normally the pain from a stubbed toe subsides in a day or two. If the pain continues or if the toe looks deformed, come in to our office. After a careful examination, including comparing the toes to the healthy foot and x-rays right in our office, we will recommend treatment for the stubbed toe.

For a fractured toe, we will immobilize it by splinting or taping the toe. A post-op boot or shoe will help keep it stable. Surgery may be indicated in serious cases based on the fracture location or if any bone fragments are near the joint.

Watch for Other Complications from a Stubbed Toe

Even in the absence of a fracture, your toe injury may be more serious than you think and can lead to other complications.

When a stubbed toe includes broken skin, infection can set in especially if the injured to had an ingrown toenail. Patients with diabetes must act quickly in this case as the broken skin may cause a foot ulcer or bone infection.

Another complication can be osteoarthritis which may appear months or even years after an injury to the big toe. Stubbing the toe or dropping a heavy object on it can cause this chronic, painful condition.

A Stubbed Toe May Not Be As Simple As You Think

Please contact Dr. Paul Betschart, board certified podiatrist if you have a stubbed toe or any other foot and ankle injury. We will examine your foot carefully and begin treatment for any condition that we find. Call our Danbury office at (203) 791-0466 or our Middlebury office at (203) 754-2249 for an appointment, or contact us via the website. Stubbed toe complications won’t heal themselves so come in for a consultation soon.