A stubbed toe can be intensely painful at the moment it happens because there isn’t any cushioning on the front of your toe to absorb the blow. Many nerve endings are in your toes so it at first feels like a severe injury even when it is only minor. But since it can be hard to tell if any other damage has been done you need to wait until the initial shock of stubbing your toe wears off. Then you should inspect your toe for symptoms that may indicate a more serious injury such as a fracture.
Things to be aware of when you stub your toe that may be cause for alarm
- A cracking sound when you stubbed your toe may be indicative of a broken toe. You should see a foot doctor right away.
- Pain and swelling in the toe especially when you put weight on it is cause for alarm.
- Discoloration and swelling that persists for two or more days.
Complications from stubbing your toe may include:
Osteomyelitis—This is a bacterial condition that can strike youngsters who stub their toe. Even a minor fracture can result in an inflammation of the bone. Always see your foot specialist for any child with symptoms of a broken toe because delayed treatment can lead to this condition.
Infection from any cuts—People with diabetes should be very careful with foot or toe injuries since an unnoticed infection can lead to amputation. If the injured toe has an ingrown toenail an infection is also more likely to happen.
Arthritis—Stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on your big toe can trigger an arthritic reaction or cause arthritic symptoms to intensify.
Depending on the severity of the injury, a broken toe may be treated by taping or splinting and a cast boot may be recommended to help prevent further injury. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.