Dislocated Toe

Dislocated toes are common among athletes, and they occur due to a direct trauma to the toe or because of an extreme sprain to the toe ligament.

Dislocated toe signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a dislocated toe include immediate intense pain in the toe at the time of injury. The toe will be extremely painful when attempting to bend the toe. A visible deformity may be obvious but this is not always the case. Swelling, bruising, tenderness or numbness may also be present.

Some people are more prone to dislocations due to lax ligaments or malformed joint sockets. Dislocated toes are very painful, and medical assistance should be sought immediately. Never attempt to reduce or pop the toe back into place yourself.

Treatment for a dislocated toe

  • Apply the principles of R.I.C.E.(rest, ice, compression, elevation) until medical attention can be sought.
  • Try to see a doctor within 6 hours to ensure proper healing. The doctor will manipulate the toe back into place, and may buddy-strap the toe (to the one next to it) to ensure that it heals correctly.
  • An X-ray may be taken before treating the dislocation to ensure there are no other complications.
  • After the reduction (manipulation to put the joint back in place), a period of care should take place which might include strapping, ice and heat, whirlpool treatments, and strengthening exercises.