Broken Toe Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Sanjay Ponkshe on April 30, 2023

Symptoms of a broken toe include: pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking.

1. Prevent Swelling and Further Injury

  • Stay off the foot as much as possible.
  • Avoid movement or pressure that causes pain.
  • Apply ice up to 20 minutes at a time. Wrap it in a towel; do not apply directly to skin.
  • Keep the foot elevated as often as possible, especially the first 2 days after injury, to help control pain and swelling.
  • For pain, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

2. Get Help

  • If you have severe pain, can’t walk, the toe looks bent or deformed, or the pain lasts for a long time, see a doctor.

3. Follow Up

  • Your doctor may recommend that you stay off your foot and avoid activity that causes pain for 3-4 weeks.
  • Wear a shoe with a stiff sole to protect the injured toe and keep it stable. Avoid shoes that put pressure on the toe.


Show Sources


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Toe and forefoot fractures."

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons: "Toe and Metatarsal Fractures (Broken toes).”

Broken Toe Information from eMedicineHealth.

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