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How do I Treat a Fractured Pinky Toe?

By J.M. Densing
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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If you suspect that you have a fractured pinky toe, the first step in treatment is to have it evaluated by a doctor. Often this kind of fracture is simple and can be treated with minimal, non-invasive interventions such as anti-inflammatory medications, icing the area, and "buddy taping" the toe. In some cases, the fracture can be more complicated and may need to be set or even require surgery. Even if the fractured toe has been examined by a doctor, you may need to get a second opinion if treatment doesn't help. There could be undetected issues preventing proper healing.

Most often when a fractured pinky toe occurs, it results from a severe blow or trauma such as stubbing the toe very hard or dropping something heavy on it. This kind of broken toe is called a traumatic fracture and can occur in any of the several bones that comprise the pinky, or more than one. If you think you your pinky toe is broken, the first step is to have the injury checked out by a medical professional. It's important to have the toe examined to determine what kind of break has occurred. Often the doctor will recommend typical home care, but depending on the fracture additional treatment may be needed.

The most common recommendations for the treatment of a fractured pinky toe involve simple remedies that can be implemented at home. Fractured toes usually develop swelling and colorful bruising so frequent applications of ice, in addition to keeping the foot elevated, are usually advised to minimize these symptoms. Another important element of treatment is anti-inflammatory medications, which will reduce swelling and relieve some of the pain. Broken bones need support and minimization of movement while healing; as a result, patients are advised to wear supportive, rigid shoes. It is also often recommended to "buddy tape" the fractured toe to the one next to it by wrapping tape around both of them. This allows the neighboring digit to act as a splint, thereby providing support and reducing movement.

In certain instances, a fractured pinky toe may need additional treatment. Sometimes a complex fracture can occur, and the pieces of bone do not line up, one rotates, or there is significant separation. In these cases, the bone may need to be realigned, or set, so that it can heal properly, or may even require surgery to insert pins to reconnect the pieces. If the toe was examined at the time of injury but doesn't seem to be healing, get a second opinion with X-rays. The bone may not be reconnecting, or knitting, on its own, and medication or surgery may be required for a complete recovery.

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Discussion Comments

By anon310039 — On Dec 19, 2012

I'm not sure if i broke my toe or if it's just a bad bruise. I feel like a wimp wasting the doctor's time when he has actual sick people who need him.

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