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Broken toe

A broken toe is a common injury where a bone in your toe is broken (fractured).

Symptoms of a broken toe include pain, bruising and swelling.

You can usually treat a broken toe with things like painkillers, rest and ice packs. Severe breaks or a broken big toe may need hospital treatment.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of a broken toe include pain, bruising and swelling.

Check if you have a broken toe

You may have broken your toe if it's:

Do not worry if you're not sure if it's broken or just bruised, treatment is usually the same for both.

Read more on the NHS website.

You can usually treat a broken toe with things like painkillers, rest and ice packs. Severe breaks or a broken big toe may need hospital treatment.

Self-care

Doctors will usually suggest you treat a broken toe at home first if:

  • it's not your big toe
  • the bone is not sticking out of your foot
  • your toe is not pointing at an odd angle
  • there's no wound on your toe

Broken toes usually heal within 4 to 6 weeks, but it can sometimes take several months.


Do

  • take ibuprofen and paracetamol for the pain and swelling
  • rest your foot and keep it raised
  • hold an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a towel on your toe for up to 20 minutes every few hours
  • wear wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel
  • avoid walking around as much as possible
  • strap up your broken toe – put a small piece of cotton wool or gauze between your sore toe and the toe next to it, then tape them together to support the sore toe

Don't

  • do not strap up your toe if it's pointing out at an odd angle or you have hurt your big toe – get medical advice
  • do not put ice directly on your skin
  • do not walk or stand for long periods
  • do not wear tight, pointy shoes
  • do not play any sports like football, rugby or hockey for 6 weeks or until the pain eases
  • do not try and treat your child's toe – take them to an urgent treatment centre or A&E

Read more on the NHS website.