Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rachel N. Verville

August 24, 2017

Frisco foot doctor

Experiencing intense pain after stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on your foot is common. The toes contain thin and delicate bones, which makes them particularly susceptible to injury. As a result, it can be challenging to determine whether you need to see a foot doctor for a potential broken bone or give your toe a few days to heal on its own. Don’t ignore persistent pain in your toe – schedule a consultation with a qualified podiatrist to ease your concerns.

There are several signs to look for if you think you may have a broken toe:

Pain Level

If you are experiencing excruciating pain in your toe or an ongoing tingling sensation, that is a strong sign that you have broken a bone. If walking makes the toe pain more intense, that is usually evidence of a break.

Pain Duration

Pain from stubbing your toe often resolves within a few hours to a full day. If the pain persists for multiple days, you are likely dealing with something more serious, such as a broken bone.


Compare your injured toe with its matching toe on the opposite foot. If there is a notable difference in size, that might mean you have broken a bone. Note that broken bones usually result in swelling, while stubbing your toe rarely does.

Shape and Direction

Stubbing your toe will not change the overall shape or the direction your toe points. If you notice either of these symptoms, you may have a break and should seek care from an experienced foot doctor immediately.


A broken bone may cause your toe to turn red, blue, black, or yellow. Stubbing your toe, on the other hand, might cause short-term redness but nothing long-lasting or extreme.


One way to appraise your toe is to move it by hand. If the toe moves strangely or you can feel the bone itself moving, that likely points to a break.

When to Call a Podiatrist for Your Broken Toe

It may be tempting to assume your broken toe will simply heal on its own without clinical care. However, leaving a toe to heal on its own may lead to further complications down the road, in some instances requiring you to undergo foot surgery. It is always best to evaluate and treat the issue before it reaches that point.

Failing to have your broken toe treated promptly may result in the following complications:

  • Reduced foot movement (the result of the bones healing back in strange or unnatural ways).
  • An increased risk of developing arthritis in the foot.
  • Pieces of broken bone splintering off (making complete healing all but impossible without surgical intervention).

For these reasons, we recommend contacting a podiatrist whenever you suspect a broken toe, especially if you experience persistent pain, bruising, or swelling.

You’re in Good Hands with Dr. Verville

If you’re looking for reliable foot care in the Frisco or Dallas Metro Area, Dr. Verville at RNV Podiatry is an excellent option. With more than a decade of experience in foot surgeries, you can trust Dr. Verville to care for your feet. Learn more about broken toes and other types of foot fractures.