Whether the culprit is a box, a piece of furniture, a frozen food item, or another heavy object, having something fall on your toe is a painful experience. 

If something heavy has fallen on one or several of your toes, you may wonder:

  • How can I tell if I have a broken toe? 
  • Should I see a foot doctor for crushed toes? 
  • What can I do to treat my toe at home?

Canyon Oaks Foot & Ankle is here with advice on what to do when you accidentally drop something heavy on your toe. 

Check for Symptoms of a Broken Toe and Other Toe Injuries

After dropping something heavy on your toe, you may initially experience sharp, throbbing pain. The affected area may appear red and feel warm to the touch. In minor cases, the pain should subside on its own within a matter of hours or even minutes. 

However, it’s possible to sustain a more severe injury by dropping heavy objects on your foot.  

According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, dropping something heavy on your toe or stubbing a toe can cause injuries such as “broken bones, a ligament sprain, and a crushed or torn-off toenail.”

If you have dropped something on your toe, remove your footwear and socks and examine the affected area. Check for symptoms of a broken toe, including swelling and bruising. Look for visible damage such as cuts, torn toenails, or abnormal bends in the toe. If it hurts to place weight on your toe and you have trouble walking, it may signal a fracture. After the injury, you may notice bruising underneath your toenail

How can you tell if you should see a podiatrist?

Visit Your Foot Doctor

Dropping something heavy on your toe or stubbing it may require a visit to your foot doctor or even urgent medical care, depending on the severity. 

Seek professional medical attention if:

  • You suspect you have broken your toe.
  • You suspect you have dislocated your toe.
  • You experience pain and/or swelling that does not subside within a day or two.
  • You have an open wound.
  • You cannot walk on the affected toe.

While not all toe injuries are serious enough to require a trip to the foot doctor, it’s best to err on the side of caution to avoid the risk of further complications. Calling a doctor is especially prudent when facing injuries involving the big toe or when dealing with an open wound. 

“If the skin is cut near your injured toe, you are at higher risk of developing an infection in the bone,” says Mayo Clinic

If you are unsure whether or not you need professional treatment, call your podiatrist for help to assess the seriousness of your toe injury. 

Treat Your Toe at Home

For minor toe injuries, you can likely make a full recovery at home. Self-care may include icing, resting, elevation, and over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen. 

Talk to your podiatrist for tips on how to heal at home. 

Fresno Podiatrist Office

Toe injuries can happen at any time. The medical team at Canyon Oaks Foot & Ankle is here to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible after hurting your toes. With offices in Fresno, Visalia, and Porterville, we provide professional podiatric care. 

Contact us to ask questions or schedule an appointment.

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