4 Reasons Not to Ignore a Broken Toe


A broken toe can be extremely painful when it occurs. Common causes include dropping a heavy object on the toe or banging it into something with great force. Unfortunately, many patients are under the false impression that there’s nothing that can be done for a broken toe and so they never go to a podiatrist to get it examined or treated. At NY Foot Health, our goal is to educate people about foot issues. Not treating a broken toe can have several debilitating consequences.

1.  Chronic pain—a toe bone that is fractured and does not heal properly can cause ongoing pain. Your toes receive quite a bit of pressure and stress from walking and this can impede the healing process and even make the fracture worse.

2.  Deformity—your foot is a complex structure and nearly a quarter of all the bones in your body are located there. A broken toe bone can alter the entire skeletal form of your foot and result in a permanent deformity. When a toe is bent out of place or misaligned it can make it difficult to move your foot properly. This can mean disability and pain as well as great difficulty finding shoes that will fit properly and comfortably. Secondary problems such as corns and calluses may develop. In the end, a broken toe can limit your ability to get around if not corrected when the break first occurs.

3.  Surgery—if a patient continues to walk on a broken toe, it can result in a failure of the bone to knit together and fully heal. As time goes on, the effects of the fracture become more severe and may lead to the necessity of one or more surgeries to resolve the toe’s injury.

4.  Arthritis—a toe that is broken at a joint can become a site for arthritis down the road. A reduced range of motion and scar tissue that could have been avoided will only make arthritis worse and reduce your mobility.

If you have sustained a toe injury, look for signs of a fracture:

  • Pain

  • A crooked appearance

  • Bruising

  • Swelling

Make an appointment to see a podiatrist (find a qualified one near you in our online directory) to get your toe evaluated if you notice any of these symptoms. To learn more about common foot and ankle disorders, contact us.