First aid for a Broken toe

Broken toe injuries are common injuries that occur as a result of dropping a heavy object on your toe or stubbing it against a hard surface.

Signs and symptoms

  • Throbbing pain
    First Aid Splint

    Splints, such as the one shown above, are commonly found in first aid kits and are excellent tools for immobilizing broken bones.

  • Discolouration
  • Swelling
  • Inability to walk due to pain

See your doctor if the symptoms last for more than a few days or if the injury does not allow you to wear shoes and walk.


1. Rest your foot to prevent the injury from becoming more severe

  • Try to stay off your foot
  • Avoid applying pressure, even through movement as it may cause pain
  • Ice the injury for 20 minutes for a few days till swelling and pain disappears–avoid applying ice or ice packs directly to the injury–wrap it in a towel instead
  • Keep the affected foot elevated for as long and as often as possible. This should be done for the first 2 days–if symptoms persist, seek medical help
  • To alleviate pain, take over the counter pain killers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid giving aspirin to children and teenagers under 18 years of age

2. Seek medical help:

  • If pain is too severe, you are not able to walk or if the toe looks deformed. Additionally, you must see your doctor if pain and other symptoms last for more than a few days

3. Continue care

  • Avoid activity and stay off the affected foot as much as possible for 3-4 days
  • Avoid wearing shoes that may pressurize the affected toe–pick solid shoes with stiff soles

Learn More

To learn more about managing and recognizing injuries including broken bones and fractures take workplace approved training programs. The following courses include managing broken bones

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