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A Stubbed Toe May Be More Than Just a Nuisance

We’ve all stubbed our toes at one time or another and it hurts! Toes have lots of nerve endings to send sensory information quickly to the central nervous system and they don’t have much fatty tissue to absorb an impact. Together this means that a stubbed toe is very painful but usually not very serious.

But a stubbed toe may be more injured than you think – don’t ignore any symptoms that may indicate complications.

Toe Fracture

Did you hear a pop or a crack when you stubbed your toe? If so it may be broken – here are more symptoms:

  • Persistent swelling or discoloration
  • Pain that doesn’t go away especially under pressure
  • Abnormal toe appearance
  • Toenail bleeding

If any of these are present call Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM for an evaluation. An injured toe may cause further complications like a contusion, ligament sprain, dislocation or tendon injury.

Special note for children with a suspected toe fracture: if treatment is delayed, osteomyelitis, or bone inflammation, may set in. Take your child to a doctor immediately if you suspect a broken toe.

Other Complications from a Stubbed Toe

Stubbing the big toe or dropping a heavy object on it can cause osteoarthritis, which may appear years after the injury.

If after stubbing the toe the skin is broken, infection may set in especially with an ingrown toenail. This can be a serious condition for an individual with diabetes as it can lead to a foot ulcer or bone infection.

Treatments for Toe Injuries

If the pain of a stubbed toe lasts more than a day, contact us for an appointment. We can take x-rays if necessary in our Chicago office to find any fractures.

Stabilizing is important for a toe fracture. We will tape or splint the toe and give you a post-op boot or shoe to keep it immobile. We may recommend surgery based on the location and severity of the fracture, or if any bone fragments appear near a joint.

Don’t Ignore a Stubbed Toe

Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist will quickly assess your foot and take action to relieve your pain as well as limit the chance of complications. Call us at 773-561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Don’t let a stubbed toe lead to more serious complications.