A broken toe can happen in a moment if you drop something heavy on your foot, stub it on the corner of a table, or jam in a sports game. This type of break would be called an acute injury, but another kind of break called a stress fracture can happen over time with repeated trauma to the toe.
An open fracture where the bone is protruding out of the skin will most definitely need surgery to repair the toe. Other broken toes can usually be treated without the need for surgery. Buddy taping is a common form of treatment where the toe is immobilized by taping it to a neighboring toe. This usually allows the fracture to heal within four to six weeks. If the break is severe and involves your big toe, a cast and/or surgery may be required to make sure the toe heals properly. Without the right treatment, infection can set in or the toe could be at risk for osteoarthritis in the future.
If you have pain and swelling that is not subsiding, contact Dr. Harvey Danciger for diagnosis and treatment. Make an appointment by calling our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108.