jennifer aniston has broken toeWhile not the most common way to break a toe, stomping on it could certainly cause this pesky injury and lead to delaying appearances, especially if you have to wear high heels like Jennifer Aniston.

Toe fractures occur frequently, often resulting from a direct blow to the end of the toe. When was the last time you wandered in the dark and kicked a piece of furniture? You have good company as this is the number one patient complaint. Ouch!

The toe will swell and often discolor. The fractures can range from very fine fracture lines to longer fractures with separation of the fragments. The most painful ones are where the fracture extends into the joint.  Each toe other than the great toe has three bones and any one or more of them can be involved.

The problem with toe fracture healing is just what Jennifer presents with. If I’m not misjudging the situation, that dress she wore would typically be covering a pair of heeled shoes. This would certainly place a lot of stress on the toe fracture and cause significant pain.

The fractured part has to be put to rest. If you have normal sensation, the goal then is to immobilize the injured bones and have pain as close to zero as possible throughout the day. The most common treatment is to apply a buddy splint;  wrapping the toe and then taping it to the next toe. I like to splint the toe to two other toes for increased stability.

The goal is stability and no pain. If you are still having moderate pain just using the splint, the toe is not stable and will take much longer to heal. A stiff hiking boot, surgical sandal, or a below the knee walking cast can be necessary to heal a toe fracture. The sooner you come in and get the toe immobilized the better; then the healing can begin.  

So, don’t cover up a pair of high heels while nursing a broken toe, have it evaluated by a foot specialist, have it splinted and immobilized properly , and pay attention to my “zero” rule when it comes to how much pain you should be having.

All people with broken toes, call us at 206-368-7000 or

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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