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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Signs that a broken toe is not healing?

 tessa - Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:59 pm

I broke my toe almost a month ago and went to the hospital for X-rays. They showed that I'd broken the longest bone in my middle toe. It was broken in half lengthwise in a jagged diagonal. I've done everything they told me to do, but am still seeing swelling and am unable to tolerate much weight at all. There are improvements, like most of the bruising is gone and of course being able to handle a bit of weight, but it seems like it should be better than this. I have heard that a bone can heal in a non union and new X-rays are required to see this. Is there a rule of thumb as to how long you should wait before running (gimping) back for more x-rays? I don't want to rush in if a month is an acceptable period to still be on crutches. That's why I thought I'd ask here first, because I really can't afford to spend that kind of money if there's nothing actually amiss here...but I don't want to cripple myself for life cause I'm too broke to go back to the Doctor. Thank you for any advise you might offer.
 Cynthia H, RN - Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:36 pm

Toe breaks are mortal pain. A normal bone takes 6 weeks to heal at least - depending on your age and diet and weight and activity.
It seems that foot injuries are more likely to be rushed as we need to use our legs for every day activities.
Can you wiggle your individual toe that was injured without too much pain? Weight bearing can cause pain as the toe is trying to heal on its own and is obviously not used to weight as you stated that you were on crutches. Even sprained ankles are treated with a cast as immobility of the sprained ankle heals the ankle the best.
Range of motion of the injuried toe without pain is a good sign - take it easy and let yourself heal. Pain is a sign of tissue damage and this could mean improper healing. Then I would have the toe checked out via x-ray....

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