Toe Injuries and Amputations

You have cut off (amputated) part of your toe. Your outcome depends largely on how much was amputated. If just the tip is amputated, often the end of the toe will grow back and the toe may return much to the same as it was before the injury. If more of the toe is missing, your caregiver has done the best with the tissue remaining to allow you to keep as much toe as is possible or has finished the amputation at a level that will leave you with the most functional toe. This means a toe that will work the best for you. Please read the instructions outlined below and refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. While your treatment has been done according to the most current medical practices available, unavoidable complications occasionally occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, call your caregiver.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • You may resume a normal diet and activities as directed or allowed.

  • Keep your foot elevated when possible. This helps decrease pain and swelling.

  • Keep ice packs (a bag of ice wrapped in a towel) on the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day, for the first two days. Use ice only if OK with your caregiver.

  • Change dressings if necessary or as directed.

  • Clean the wounded area as directed.

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

  • Keep appointments as directed.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • There is redness, swelling, numbness or increasing pain in the wound.

  • There is pus coming from wound.

  • You have an unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) or as your caregiver suggests.

  • There is a bad (foul) smell coming from the wound or dressing.

  • The edges of the wound break open (the edges are not staying together) after sutures or staples have been removed.