How Long Does It Take For A Broken Toe To Heal?

You might not give your toes much thought, but if you break one, you'll be reminded just how important they are. Most toes are broken because something heavy fell on your foot or you stubbed your foot on something. One sure sign that you've broken a toe is that it will hurt; in addition, the area around your toe will probably swell and eventually, a bruise will develop (via Mayo Clinic).

If you suspect that you've broken a toe, the first thing you should do is rest your foot and avoid doing anything that hurts your toe, per Medline Plus. Within the first 24 hours of breaking a toe, you should apply an ice pack to it for 20 minutes every hour while you're awake, and then two or three times a day after that. Always place a cloth between the ice pack and your skin. You can prevent the area around your toe from swelling by elevating your foot.

Length of recovery depends on the toe and the injury

There is no specific time frame for a toe to heal, and healing time can vary based on the person and the toe. That said, Medical News Today reports that a broken big toe can take anywhere from five to seven weeks to heal. Smaller toes take less time, averaging around four to six weeks. Severe injuries requiring a cast or surgery might take six to eight weeks to heal (via Medline Plus). The Mayo Clinic explains that most broken toes heal without issues, noting that in rare cases, an infection could develop.

In most situations, you can treat a broken toe at home by taping it to the toe next to it. Medline Plus suggests you place cotton balls between your toes to prevent friction, and change the tape and cotton daily. You might want to wear a special shoe that protects your toe while it heals. Broken big toes, broken toes with open wounds, or broken toes that are crooked should be examined by a doctor.