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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10600
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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I stubbed my bare big toe yesterday evening by running into

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I stubbed my bare big toe yesterday evening by running into a step, It is bruised and swolen. It is hard to put pressure on it when I try to walk. Do I need to get medical treatement for this?

RickMD :

I am online and happy to help you with your question today.

RickMD :

Do you have any medical problems or take any medication?

RickMD :

We have been experiencing problems with the chat system for the last few days. Our engineers are working on it. However, I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)

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RickMD : I am online and happy to help you with your question today.
RickMD : Do you have any medical problems or take any medication?

Is your toe pointing off at a abnormal angle?
Are there any lacerations?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

can I text you? I have to leave my computer. The only medication I take is synthroid. I am having no other problems than what I have stated. Swelling and bruising. It is hard to step down because of the pressure

Some systems work with texting but many don't...

You should be OK to skip medical attention. Just put ice on the toe.

Even if it is broken and not displaced,there is not much to do but let it heal.

So, if you can stand the pain, you can treat it at home.

Of course, if you have any concerns, having a MD take it a look at it would be a good idea, but I think you will be fine.

Is there anything else you would like to discuss at this point or have all your questions been answered to your satisfaction?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr. Rick,

That is very helpful. Yes, I can stand the pain. I also googled this (before I asked for your help). Sometimes the internet gives us just a little too much info, doesn't it? Below is what I found. Is it best just to ice and elevate or should I try to do the tape as is suggested below--is there any benfit to that? Also, I have no deformity, just swelling and bruising. Does that last sentance below apply?


Thanks for your help

Home care after breaking a toe includes applying ice, elevating the foot, and rest. Medical treatment for a broken toe depends on which toe is broken, where in the toe the break is, and the severity of the break. If you do not have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, your toe can be "buddy-taped camera" to your uninjured toe next to it. Protect the skin by putting some soft padding, such as felt or foam, between your toes before you tape them together. Your injured toe may need to be buddy-taped for 2 to 4 weeks to heal. If your injured toe hurts more after buddy taping it, remove the tape.

In rare cases, other treatment may be needed, including:

  • Protecting the toe from additional injury. This may include using splints to stabilize the toe, a short leg cast, or a brace.

  • Surgery, if the break is severe.

Medical treatment is needed more often for a broken big toe than for the other toes. An untreated fracture may cause long-term pain, limited movement, and deformity.


The picture you sent did not come through.

From what you have posted, it doesn't seem like you need to buddy tape your toe. Since the big toe would not be supported much by the smaller toe that you would be taping it to.

It is unlikely that you have broken your big toe but, of course, the only way to be sure is to get an xray.

I think you will be fine but if you are in doubt -- have it xrayed.

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.
Dr. Rick, MD and 6 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

So. How's the toe doing?

I hope it is healing up well and you're getting around better already. Take care and have a good day.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I planned to email you but you beat me to it. My toe is feeling better and I am so glad I came to you for help. You were exactly what I needed and saved me from spending a whole day of my vacation seeking face to face medical advice. You are my hero!


The pleasure was all mine :)