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How do you know if you've broken your toe?

1 watcher
Oct 2013
11:56pm, 4 Oct 2013
5815 posts
  • 0
How do you know if you've broken your toe, other than it's purple, you can't bend it and it hurts so much you found yourself trying to hit a door to make something else hurt to take your mind off it? And how wise is it to run a 10k on it if you have (it's the little toe, so bizarrely I think I can still run on it, certainly can do short distances)?
Oct 2013
12:01am, 5 Oct 2013
7548 posts
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I had similar once (big toe). Thought it may have been broken, but doctor checked it and said it was ligaments. If so, I would say it depends on how sore it is at race time. (I had slipped on a stair with no shoes on and came down full weight on the toe. :-o)
Oct 2013
12:16am, 5 Oct 2013
923 posts
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I think you might have broken it. I have broken toes on two separate occasions, and it was the degree of bruising that swung it. Also, I cried as soon as I'd done it both times, it was so sore. Your A&E may not x-ray it given it's your little toe, will probably advise buddy strapping it (taping it to the adjacent toe for support) and advise doing what seems non-painful in terms of running, etc. So really it probably comes down to how it feels when race day comes. you can certainly make a fracture worse by not resting it (one of my toe fractures, I knew I'd done it as soon as I bashed the toe but it wasn't too bad - then I went out drinking and dancing, probably made the fracture more displaced, and then it was VERY painful). If in doubt, get A&E to look at it (just to cover the fact that none of us can assess your toe safely on-line!). Hope it's feeling better soon x
Oct 2013
12:48am, 5 Oct 2013
645 posts
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Isn't the treatment the same whether it is broken or not? Stay off it until it doesn't hurt too much.

If you can run without much pain, I'd say go ahead with the 10K.
Oct 2013
1:23pm, 5 Oct 2013
5817 posts
  • 0
Ta - for the advice and stories, went out this morning for a little one mile round the block, and it's sore at first and downhills but warmed up the way back and only throbbed when I stopped. Looks nice and purple but on the inside of the little toe, not the outside, so it's actually quite well protected - quite how I managed to crack is against the wall like that, I'm not sure, but I'm sure icing and ibuprofen will see it runnable on tomorrow.
Oct 2013
3:38pm, 5 Oct 2013
49672 posts
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plodding hippo
I wouldnt bother with A and E

Its probably broken, run if it doesnt hurt too much
Oct 2013
10:18pm, 5 Oct 2013
65 posts
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It sounds broken to me! I broke my little toe in January 2012 by stubbing it against my hall skirting board! A visit to A&E the following day confirmed it - as I was training for the London marathon they did x-ray it for me just so I knew the likely recovery time. I found I couldn't drive with it as I couldn't safely brake (it was my right toe) and running was out of the question. I found it particularly painful as little toes have more contact with shoes than most other toes. I had to wear a bright red slipper to work for a week! (Not good as I am a teacher!).

I went back to running after four weeks (despite being told to take six weeks off) and it was painful still but bearable. I do however regret going back to running so soon because even now it still aches occasionally, particularly when it's cold. From personal experience I'd give it time to heal properly.
Oct 2013
10:28pm, 5 Oct 2013
27534 posts
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If it's your little toe, it doesn't matter much whether or not you've broken it, the treatment is the same - painkillers, possibly strapping it to the adjacent toe if that makes it feel more comfortable, and avoiding doing things that make it hurt. I'd be wary of running any distance on it as if you end up trying to protect the sore foot from impact it could affect your gait and make you hurt elsewhere.
Oct 2013
2:58pm, 6 Oct 2013
5819 posts
  • 0
Our infamous club colleague, 100 miler and midwife, took one look at it's impressive purpleness (I don't tend to bruise at all) and snorted "that's not broken AND childbirth is more painful". But a season's best and course pb in 41.21 (thereabouts), and I can still walk on it now til the painkillers wear off at least anyway :-).
Oct 2013
3:07pm, 6 Oct 2013
2176 posts
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Well done on a season's best with a broken toe!!

I've broken a couple of toes (4th toe on each foot although at different times) and did the buddy-strapping. I ran a track race once the first time I broke a toe and it hurt with every step so exceptionally well done (and brave!) to do a 10K. Get well soon.

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Maintained by Chrisull
How do you know if you've broken your toe, other than it's purple, you can't bend it and it hurts...

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