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Broken Toe (cont.)

Other Therapy for Broken Toe

Reduction

  • If the toe fracture is displaced (the two ends of the broken bone are out of place) or rotated (the toe is pointing in the wrong direction), the doctor may need to put it back into place (reduction).
  • Sometimes an injection of medication (anesthesia) may be needed to numb the toe before it is put back into place.
  • After a reduction, the broken bone will need support to hold it in place while it heals.

Buddy taping

  • If the toe fracture is a minor or small fracture in a bone of one of the small toes, the doctor may only need to tape the injured toe to the toe next to it for support. This treatment is called buddy taping.
  • If the toe is buddy taped, it is usually safe to bathe, and then replace the tape afterward, but check with the doctor to make sure it is OK.
  • If the tape is replaced by the person with the toe injury, it is recommended they put a small piece of cotton or gauze between the toes that are taped together. This prevents the skin between the toes from developing sores or blisters.

Casting

  • A cast is usually not required for a simple toe fracture.
  • A hard-soled, sturdy, and supportive shoe should be worn.
  • The doctor may give a special shoe to wear if the foot or toes are very swollen.
  • A cast (or even surgery) may be needed if the big toe is broken, the fracture involves a joint, or a lot of small toe fractures occur at once.
  • A cast may also be needed if a bone in the foot or leg is broken in addition to the toe.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/6/2014

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