If you can see ends of a toe bone poking out of the skin, there is no question that it is fractured. In less serious cases, it may be hard to tell a broken toe from a bad sprain. Both will be painful, both can swell up, and both may be red from inflammation or have blue or purple bruising. It can be just as hard to walk with a badly sprained toe as a fractured one.
One clue is how the healing progresses. Follow first aid measures by resting and elevating your foot, using ice therapy to reduce swelling, and using any medications we suggest for pain control. If it has been a couple of days and the symptoms are not improving, it’s time to call in the foot specialists.
There are some symptoms that require immediate medical attention. If the skin on your toe looks blue or grey, if there is any open wound involved, or if your toes are cold and numb, don’t wait. Call Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, or Granby, CO, right away at (303) 423-2520 for an assessment. You don’t want serious complications from infection or nerve injury.