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How to Know If Your Toe Is Broken

If you find it difficult to walk or run and have pain, swelling, and tenderness in your toe, the toe may be broken. Here are some symptoms to be on the lookout for.


  • Step 1: Note a snap or pop Note whether you heard a snap or pop at the time of the injury.
  • Step 2: Note response to touch Observe whether the pain is worse when you move or touch the toe.
  • Step 3: Note any swelling or bruising Look for swelling and bruising.
  • TIP: A broken toe may turn black and blue, and you may observe bleeding or discoloration under your toenail.
  • Step 4: Note any deformation Check whether the toe is deformed.
  • TIP: A dislocated toe can also appear deformed.
  • Step 5: Consult your doctor Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. They will perform a physical examination, and may order an X-ray. While you can guess about your toe's state on your own, your doctor can be certain about not only what is wrong, but how to fix it.
  • FACT: A 2009 study suggests that you can test the flexibility of your cardiac arteries by touching your toes.

You Will Need

  • Snap during injury
  • Pain response to movement
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Deformation
  • Your doctor
  • Physical examination
  • Bleeding or discoloration (optional)

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