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What is the standard treatment for a fractured toe?

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Quick Answer

Reduction, immobilization and administration of pain medications are standard treatments for a fractured toe, according to Mayo Clinic. Surgery is sometimes necessary to reposition the bones.

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Full Answer

Reduction involves manually manipulating the bones into the proper position, explains Mayo Clinic. Ice or an injected anesthetic numbs the toe for this procedure. For severe fractures, the doctor may have to use pins, plates and screws to secure the bones, and this involves surgery.

Once the bones are in the correct position, the doctor immobilizes the toe, indicates Mayo Clinic. For a simple fracture of one of the smaller toes, the doctor may tape the fractured toe to the adjacent toe, in which case the neighboring toe acts as a splint. In other cases, the doctor may apply a splint or a cast, reports eMedicineHealth. If a wound is present in the area of the fractured toe, the doctor may administer a tetanus shot or antibiotics.

Following treatment, the patient may need to use a special shoe with a stiff bottom and soft top to keep the toe from bending, states Mayo Clinic. Resting, applying ice, elevating the injured foot, and taking over-the-counter pain medications can alleviate discomfort and limit swelling during the first few days following the injury, advises MedlinePlus.

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