Dos and Dont’s of a Broken Toe

broken toe

How do you know if you’ve broken your toe? Well, for starters, if you’ve dropped something heavy on it, be suspicious. If you trip and fall while bending your toe at an awkward angle, be on your guard. You’ve probably broken it if such an event is followed by:

  • sensitivity to touch
  • bruising
  • swelling
  • redness
  • pain
  • a crooked appearance
  • difficulty bending it or walking on it

What to do and what not to do

If you examine your injured toe and think you may have broken it, there’s really a right way and wrong way to act next. Follow these dos and dont’s for the best care of a broken toe:


  • Rest your foot.
  •  Elevate your entire lower leg.
  •  Apply ice to the injured area.
  •  Make an appointment to have your toe examined here at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. Our expert podiatrists, Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, can determine the best way to treat it by taking x-rays or other imaging – available right here at our modern office in Solon, Ohio. Treatments can include taping and bracing the injured toe. If the break is bad enough, you can’t rule out the possibility of toe surgery either.


  •  Tape it to the next toe. Unless you know where the break is and how badly it’s broken, taping it on your own may do more harm than good.
  • Assume it’ll be fine without treatment. It might be. But a small stress fracture can become a big one if you simply continue to walk on it. A broken toe that heals improperly can leave lasting damage, including a permanently bent toe, an arthritic toe, a toe that will always hurt – or all of these things.

Seek proper medical treatment when you injure your toe. In Cuyahoga County, count on Dr. Frey and Dr. Oltmann for expert care of broken toes and all injuries of the feet and ankles.

Call us at (440) 903-1041 or request an appointment online.