Toe Fracture

ExitCare ImageYour caregiver has diagnosed you as having a fractured toe. A toe fracture is a break in the bone of a toe. "Buddy taping" is a way of splinting your broken toe, by taping the broken toe to the toe next to it. This "buddy taping" will keep the injured toe from moving beyond normal range of motion. Buddy taping also helps the toe heal in a more normal alignment. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for the toe injury to heal.


  • Leave your toes taped together for as long as directed by your caregiver or until you see a doctor for a follow-up examination. You can change the tape after bathing. Always use a small piece of gauze or cotton between the toes when taping them together. This will help the skin stay dry and prevent infection.

  • Apply ice to the injury for 15-20 minutes each hour while awake for the first 2 days. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin.

  • After the first 2 days, apply heat to the injured area. Use heat for the next 2 to 3 days. Place a heating pad on the foot or soak the foot in warm water as directed by your caregiver.

  • Keep your foot elevated as much as possible to lessen swelling.

  • Wear sturdy, supportive shoes. The shoes should not pinch the toes or fit tightly against the toes.

  • Your caregiver may prescribe a rigid shoe if your foot is very swollen.

  • Your may be given crutches if the pain is too great and it hurts too much to walk.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • If your caregiver has given you a follow-up appointment, it is very important to keep that appointment. Not keeping the appointment could result in a chronic or permanent injury, pain, and disability. If there is any problem keeping the appointment, you must call back to this facility for assistance.


  • You have increased pain or swelling, not relieved with medications.

  • The pain does not get better after 1 week.

  • Your injured toe is cold when the others are warm.


  • The toe becomes cold, numb, or white.

  • The toe becomes hot (inflamed) and red.