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Finger and Toe Fractures (Broken Finger or Toe)

A hard blow can break a bone in your toe or finger. Broken bones are also known as fractures. Even minor fractures need medical care. Without treatment, they may heal crooked, stiff, or with other problems.

Side view of hand with finger in splint. Splint limits movement and keeps finger in best position for healing.

When to Go to the Emergency Room (ER)

You may not always know when you have a fractured toe or finger. Apply ice to the injury right away. Then, seek medical care if:

  • The finger or toe is swollen or very painful.

  • Your injured toe or finger is pale or blue.

  • You are bleeding.

  • A bone protrudes through your skin.

What to Expect in the ER

A doctor will ask about your injury and examine your toe or finger. You may have x-rays. Treatment will depend on the type of fracture you have.

Toe Fracture

Your doctor may straighten a broken toe. You'll be given local anesthesia so you won't feel any discomfort during this procedure. The injured toe may then be splinted by being taped to a toe next to it, or placed on a pad that's taped to your foot. Your doctor may also ask you to apply ice and keep your foot elevated.

Finger Fracture

A broken finger is likely to be placed in a metal splint. This helps straighten and protect the finger while it heals. You may be given exercises to do as the injury heals, to prevent stiffness in your finger.

Online Medical Reviewer: Costello, Melissa W, MD, FACEP
Online Medical Reviewer: Williams, James M, MS, DO, FACEP
Date Last Reviewed: 12/29/2011
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