How to Deal with Big Toe Injury and How a Podiatrist Can Help

Big Toe Injuries

Most people don’t think about their toes until they can’t wear shoes because of swelling and severe pain. However, we use our toes every day to help stabilize us as we walk and stand. It is important to take good care of this important body part!

Toe injury occurs through sports or physical activity, oftentimes. However, toes can be hurt in other ways as well.

Learn more about common problems and their prevention and treatment from Dr. Ivan Silva.

Turf Toe

Turf toe occurs in the big toe joint when tendons, soft tissues, and ligaments in the joint experience stretching, partial tearing, or a severe tear. Turf toe injuries occur when the big toe is bent too far or forcefully in the wrong direction. The force causes the soft tissues and ligaments to sprain or gets completely torn or dislocates.

Turf toe injuries became common when football players and other athletes started playing on artificial turf and not grass. The grass is softer than artificial turf and hence safer for playing sports. Artificial surfaces can be dangerous to play on and are less shock absorbent.

Tuff toe injuries commonly occur in sports and various activities. They don’t only affect footballers; they can happen to anyone.


Understanding Types of Big Toe Injuries and Turf Toe

To develop an effective treatment plan, health care providers classify injuries by grading them. There are several types of turf toe injuries.


Grade One

It occurs when the soft tissue is stretched but doesn’t tear. Symptoms include:

  • The area becomes sensitive to touch
  • The area may develop mild swelling
  • You may find it hard to exercise or play sports


Grade Two

It occurs when the complex soft tissue experiences partial tearing. Symptoms include:

  • The toe area develops severe tenderness
  • The area experiences more swelling and bruising
  • Limited exercise abilities


Grade Three

Here the soft tissue completely tears, and the MTP joint may dislocate. Symptoms include:

  • You will experience more swelling and severe pain in the injured toe
  • Movement is strict with this type of injury

Turf Toe Diagnosis

Health care providers diagnose turf toe injuries by examining your toe. You will need to be open and detailed in explaining how your injury happened. Describe the kind of pain you felt and where you felt it.

You may be required to move your toe to examine your range of motion as they check for tenderness.

Your doctor may perform imaging tests like magnetic resonance imaging to check for damage in the small bones, collateral ligaments, and soft tissues.


Crushed Big Toe Injury

Crushed or smashed big toe injuries happen when something heavy falls on the toe. In some instances, the nail will be damaged.

One of a crushed big toe’s risk factors is a bone infection, also known as osteomyelitis. Do not hesitate to seek treatment for this type of injury, as it can be quite serious.

Home Remedies for Big Toe Injury

How you treat turf toe and many other toe ailments depends on the severity of the issue.

Mild big toe sprains may not need any treatment. You may need to rest your foot to help with healing.

Mild injuries on the soft tissues, like stretching and swelling or partial tears and tenderness, get better with non-invasive home treatments. Your podiatrist may recommend the following:


Get Enough Rest

Rest is essential for healing the human body. It gives the body cells time to replenish and heal themselves. Your podiatrist will advise you on how long you should rest your foot to avoid bearing weight. Severe injuries may require you to take a break from sports and other strenuous activities for a few days or weeks.

Depending on your injury’s severity, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend a special walking boot or crutches as your injury heals.

Raise Your Leg at an Angle and Apply Ice

Applying ice to swollen areas is known to calm the nerves and help heal. Applying a cold compress in short sessions throughout the day will reduce the swelling and ease the pain.

Your medical provider may advise you to raise your foot above your heart every few hours and relax. Raising your leg at an angle will help reduce inflammation.


Physical Therapy

After physical examination, your podiatrist may recommend physical therapy. A skilled physical therapist will recommend great exercises and stretches to help heal your turf toe injury. You will receive a customized physical therapy plan that includes exercises to help:

  • Reduce joint stiffness
  • Enhance flexibility
  • Strengthen muscles to restore the MTP joint motion



You can treat big toe soft tissue injury by taping your toe. Taping your big toe to the smaller toes restricts a range of motion with your toe heals. Taping helps protect your toe from more severe injuries. Your provider will further advise you to choose sturdy and supportive shoe wear.


Surgical Intervention

Severe toe injuries can require surgical treatment. Doctors consider surgical management if conservative management fails to resolve the toe injury.

Foot and ankle surgeons perform surgery depending on the location of the injury and the types of bones and soft tissues that are damaged. Surgical repair focuses on severe tears, fractures, or joint damage.


Pain Medication

Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and swelling.

Pain medication options include ibuprofen as well as prescription painkillers that might be prescribed if the injury is severe.

How Would Urgent Care Treat Injury to Big Toe Nail?

Toenails may look like minor parts of your body, but they are precious and essential.

Smashing your toenail is a regular occurrence in human life. This can occur due to repeated trauma on the toe or to just dropping something heavy on it one time. After smashing your toenail, you may notice that it turns blue or black.

When blood vessels break under the nail, they cause a subungual hematoma. Nail trauma can cause your nail to crack, split, fall off or cause an ingrown toenail. All these conditions are painful to manage.

If you injure your toenail and notice that blood has covered half of your toenail, you should seek urgent care. Visit a podiatrist in Santo Domingo to drain the blood under the toenail and avoid infections. Sometimes the podiatrist may have to remove the nail and stitch a deep tear. This is not something you should do yourself at home.

Patients with diabetes or other conditions that affect healing should seek urgent care in case of nail injury. When the injury is left untreated, it may result in amputation.

A Big Toe Injury Doctor Explains Common Symptoms

An experienced big toe injury doctor will help with successful treatment and facilitate a quick recovery. If you experience symptoms of turf toe, seek medical help from a podiatrist. Common symptoms of turf toe include:

  • Pain and severe tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Joint stiffness
  • Bruising

Podiatrist clinics offer a range of services to care for patients with turf toe or other toe and foot injuries. Book an appointment with Dr. Ivan Silva to avoid further injury.


Big Toe Injury Podiatrist in Santo Domingo

A broken toe is very painful because of the throbbing you feel on your foot. The pain can be alleviated by seeking medical attention. A podiatrist can also help make sure you do not make the injury worse or suffer long-term pain.

If you are suffering from foot or toe problems in Santo Domingo, take a moment to learn about Dr. Ivan Silva.

He has provided reputable service to patients in the area for over 25 years. As an experienced foot and ankle surgeon, he has over 3000 successful surgeries on his record.

Don’t suffer in silence when you can get help from a compassionate and skilled podiatrist.


How a Podiatrist Can Help With Big Toe Injury

Dr. Silva takes time to provide an accurate diagnosis of big toe joint pain, plantar complex, turf toe, or whatever other issue you are experiencing.

After diagnosis, he administers a treatment plan that will address the source as well as manage your pain. If surgery is required to manage big toe pain, Dr. Silva and his team can take care of you in that regard as well.

Get Big Toe Treatment from Dr. Ivan Silva ASAP

If you are experiencing any issues with your toe, foot, or ankle due to a sports injury, arthritis, or skin problems, you should seek medical attention from a podiatrist. It is important to get checked in order to prevent future issues.

Potential Consequences of Not Seeking Treatment for an Injury

  • Your toe may develop an infection
  • Some untreated issues lead to a need for amputation
  • Misaligned bones
  • Permanent foot pain


Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if My Toe Injury is Serious?

Serious toe injuries can lead to severe swelling and consistent pain. You may experience difficulty in walking or putting weight on your foot. Sometimes the toe becomes itchy, and pus forms. These are signs of infection and should not be disregarded.

How Do I Know if My Big Toe is Broken or Just Bruised?

A broken toe will present symptoms like swelling around the toe that may extend to the foot, discoloration, change in shape, a visible bone on the skin, and severe pain while walking or bearing weight.


How Long Does it Take for a Big Toe Injury to Heal?

Our bodies are different; hence healing times vary from one individual to another. The average time for a big toe fracture is one and a half to two months. Sprains may take a month or less time to heal.