To treat a broken toe at home, elevate the foot higher than the heart, and ice the area for up to 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling and pain, states Mayo Clinic. Wrap the ice in a towel to avoid direct contact with the skin.
Additionally, the toe may be secured by taping it to another toe, according to MedlinePlus. This is referred to as buddy taping. Most often, a broken toe heals in four to six weeks. However, in some cases, it is not possible to treat a broken toe at home. Severe toe injuries can require surgery or a cast, explains WebMD. Although it is not as common, it is possible for a broken toe to develop infection or osteoarthritis.
Breaks that cause the toe to look crooked, cause an open wound or injure the big toe require medical assistance, states MedlinePlus. A toe that is crooked can indicate the bone is not in the correct position, which requires straightening for proper healing. In some cases, a tiny piece of bone breaks off and the toe does not heal as it should. This requires surgery to correct. Pain, swelling, bruising and stiffness are common symptoms associated with a broken toe. Increased pain or swelling; fever or chills; and a failure to heal are all reasons to seek medical attention.