About that Toe You Stubbed While Looking for Santa…

Man’s foot bandaged up on his broken toeOK, so you were getting really into The Night Before Christmas and you thought you heard “the prancing and pawing of each little hoof” up on your roof. But before you could get to the window to tear open the shutters and throw up the sash you smashed your toe into the bedpost.

Um, owwwww!

Soon your attention turned from Dasher and company to the company of your 10 digits of your feet.

What now? There’s a fair chance you have a broken toe if the impact was hard enough. The question is — when is it bad enough to merit a call to one of our five Foot & Ankle Clinics of Utah offices?

Common injury

A broken toe is a common injury that’s typically the result of dropping something heavy onto your foot or from violently stubbing your toe.

Usually, you can treat a broken toe by taping it to a neighboring toe. But if the fracture is severe — particularly if it involves your big toe — that means a call to Foot & Ankle Clinics of Utah is in order. That’s because you need attention to your broken toe to ensure proper healing. Without attention, the toe could become infected, and it can dramatically increase your chances of developing osteoarthritis in that toe in the future.

Diagnosing the situation

When you come see us, one of our four podiatrists will examine your toe. He’ll check for tender areas in your toes. He’ll look at the skin around the injury to ensure it is intact and that the toe is still receiving adequate blood flow and nerve signals.

If it looks as if your toe is broken, he’ll order x-rays taken from various angles.

Treating the broken toe

Over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient to handle the pain involved with a fractured toe.

In some cases, the broken fragments of your toe don’t fit snugly back together, so our podiatrists may need to manipulate the pieces back into their proper positions. This is called reduction, and it can usually be done without cutting open the skin. Local anesthetic is used during the process.

In more severe breaks, our doctors may need to perform surgery. In these cases, we may use pins, plates, or screws to maintain the proper position of your bones during healing.

If you wonder if you’ve broken a toe and the break seems severe, we need to see you at Foot & Ankle Clinics of Utah. Give us a call at any of our five locations in American Fork (801), 763-3885; Payson, (801) 765-1718; Springville (801) 491-3668; and Orem (two locations), (801) 226-2421 or (801) 765-1718.


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