While the pinky toe may be the smallest toe, pinky toe pain isn’t always so small. Moreover, hurting your pink toe can cause serious complications — especially if you don’t get the right treatment right away.
Up ahead, we’ll outline what to expect if you fracture or break your pinky toe and need treatment.
What to do With a Fractured Pinky Toe
How to Tell if You’ve Broken Your Pinky Toe
Most people know if they’ve broken their pinky toe. After all, it soon becomes obvious when you can’t seem to put weight on it or walk properly. You may feel a constant throbbing pain or a general ache that doesn’t let up. The toe may also appear bruised and swollen. Stiffness of the toe is common as well.
Seeing your podiatrist should be your first course of action if you suspect a broken pinky toe. You’ll be able to get an accurate diagnosis and a thorough treatment plan.
Broken Pinky Toe Treatment Options
The course of treatment your podiatrist decides upon will depend on several factors, including how your toe was injured, the extent of the injury, and the mechanics of the injury. Some of the most common treatment options are as follows.
In many cases, a broken pinky toe simply needs to heel on its own. However, it is far more likely to heel when it is stable and immobile. In this case, the buddy taping method may be used. With this method, the pinky toe is taped to the toe next to it for stability until it heels. For pain, over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen will be prescribed.
In some cases, your podiatrist may need to manipulate the bones within your pinky toe in order to set the toe and allow it to heal properly. This is a process called reduction. The toe will be numbed, and the manipulation can be performed without the need for surgery.
Finally, when severe pinky toe breaks arise, surgery may be needed. Often, pins or plates will be used to help align and position the bones for optimal comfort during recovery and continued use in the future.
Hurt Your Pinky Toe? Why You Should Get It Checked Out Right Away
Significantly hurting your pinky toe isn’t an emergency, but it’s definitely cause for seeing your podiatrist as soon as possible.
If left untreated, a broken pinky toe can develop an infection of the bone. You might notice redness, warmth, and direct pain in the area if this happens. You could even develop a fever and overwhelming fatigue as additional side effects. If left untreated for an even longer period, the issue may lead to the death of the bone or septic arthritis. Patients with a bone infection will also experience restricted circulation and an increased risk for skin cancer.
On the other hand, if you make an appointment with your podiatrist to have your toe checked out as soon as possible, you will not only mitigate the risk of a bone infection, but you’ll also greatly reduce your pain and discomfort.
If you have recently injured your pinky toe and aren’t sure what to do next, book an appointment with your podiatrist today. We will assess your injury and make a thorough diagnosis for proper treatment and a prompt recovery.