Contusion of toe: symptoms, first aid and treatment

Symptoms, first aid treatment, injury toe

Bruised toe is one of the most common. Particularly frequent cases of such injuries in the summer, when we wear more open shoes. Often we do not pay enough attention to the injured area.

Try to figure out if it’s right and what to do if you hurt your toe.



The structure and function of the toes

The skeleton of the toes consists of a short tubular bones – phalanges. Each finger consists of three phalanxes: main, middle and end. The only exception is the thumb does not have middle phalanges.

Although the toes are characterized by less activity than the fingers of the hand, their structure still contains the movable joints located between the phalanges.

The mobility of these fingers is caused by the contraction of the tendons, resulting in movement of the leg muscles. The main phalanges are concentrated around the Central part of the foot with the metatarsal bones.

The feet perform a body support function and provide him the opportunity of movement. Standing without motion, a person can lift from the floor the toes, while maintaining balance.

However, when walking, that is the toes help the body to keep the balance. A similar task they perform when the body is tilted forward.

The occurrence of injury

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Bruised toe is a mechanical closed damage with minor disruption of the integrity of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Usually, injury occurs as a result of a fall or from a blow with a blunt object. It is also possible to receive injury due to fracture or dislocation.

At the time of injury the person feels a sharp pain, but after a few minutes it passes.

Later, usually within a few hours, but sometimes after a few days, at the site of injury occurs swelling – swelling can back pain. This happens because when you suffer injury soft tissue.

The receipt of the injury may be accompanied by damage to blood vessels that causes a hematoma (bruise). If the traumatized area where the skin adheres to the bone, then this area of skin can amertat, and the bone may form a crack or even fracture of the toe.

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The symptoms of trauma

When injury of toe it is important to distinguish the symptoms of the injury from fracture

  1. Pain in the injured place. The intensity of pain after injury is gradually reduced, but after a few hours, swelling continues. Bruised toe is accompanied by sharp and severe pain.

  2. Swelling and edema of the place of injury. Usually occurs within several hours after the injury.
  3. The occurrence of hematoma as a result of damage vessels. With a slight degree of injury they point, but if the injury is more serious, the hematoma may even cause damage to neighboring tissues. Badly bruised toe, for example, may be accompanied by flaking of the nail plate due to the formation of a hematoma.
  4. Preservation of the mobility of the injured area. With the emergence of edema and hematoma the ability to move the toe may be lost, however, immediately after injury, it remains what distinguishes an injury from a dislocation or fracture.

Classification of injuries by severity

There are four degrees of severity of the injury:

  1. Injury I level. Is characterized by minor injuries of the skin, the external manifestation may be abrasions or scratches. As a rule, from such injury in a few days will not be over. Injury I level requires no special treatment.
  2. Injury II degree. Accompanied by the appearance of edema, hematoma as a result of damage muscle tissue. The pain is quite sharp.
  3. Injury III. Injury of such a degree is usually preceded by a strong enough impact, which leads to significant tissue damage. This injury may be accompanied by dislocation.
  4. Injury grade IV. The most serious degree of injury. Fully, the operation of a bruised area. Often accompanied by sprains, cracked bones, fractures.

First aid for injury

What to do if badly bruised or hurt a toe in the first place?. You should start with these procedures:

  • Inspection of the bruised places. First of all, you need to inspect the damaged area to check its functions. If the toes are bent-straighten fine, so there is only a bruise and not a more serious injury. If mobility impaired, you should seek help to the doctor-the traumatologist.
  • Cold compress. It not only helps relieve pain but also constricts blood vessels, thereby reducing possible hematoma. In order not to aggravate hypothermia, it is advisable to apply cold through the layer of fabric, e.g. a towel. Cold should be applied for 10 minutes, repeating compresses 3-4 times at intervals of 20 minutes. Note that the sooner after the injury apply a compress, the greater the positive effect will be achieved.
  • Treatment and disinfection. If at the site of injury there is external damage to the skin (abrasions, scratches), they must be washed and decontaminated. Please note, as an antiseptic it is NOT recommended to use iodine, because it has warming effect.
  • Dressing. Additionally, it may be advisable to impose a pressure bandage to immobilize the injured area in case the injured joint.
  • Prevention of circulatory disorders. With this purpose, it is recommended to give the injured foot raised position.
  • The use of pain relieving medications and ointments from bruises. Perhaps if a small injury severity and do not require treatment to the doctor. Should not be used for pain relief aspirin, as this drug can increase bleeding.
  • If the injury was a damaged nail plate, be sure to put a pressure bandage or disinfectant band-aid.
  • Keep calm the affected area.

What should be avoided with fractures

If the injury is not recommended:

  • To RUB, to massage the injury site. The effect of such action may be thrombophlebitis (obstruction of veins).
  • In the first days after injury to steam the injured place, apply a heating pad.
  • To attempt to forcibly bend-straighten the joints to set them in place. This should only be done specialist!
  • To use drugs without medical advice, especially if serious injury severity and is accompanied by additional injuries.

It is strongly recommended not to pay attention to the injury! Even if it seems insignificant, it is better to take all measures to prevent negative consequences.



Long-lasting pain, severe swelling, which hematoma is a signal to seek help from a doctor. After examination and x-ray technician can prescribe the right treatment for bruised toe .

Pay special attention if the injury came a crunch when pressing on the damaged area, the finger changed its normal position.

These symptoms may indicate a broken toe. In this case also, be sure to consult your doctor to take necessary recovery measures


Injury use the following methods:

  • Medication. To eliminate the consequences of injury can be assigned a special ointment, which usually soderjitsya ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, diclofenac sodium. They relieve inflammation, eliminate swelling. When severe pain can be prescribed painkillers.
  • Physiotherapy. Treatment is applied UHF devices, electrophoresis, magnetotherapy. The purpose of these procedures is to accelerate the resorption of hematoma and tissue repair damaged site.
  • Surgery. Can be assigned with a significant hematoma.

What to do and how to treat a bruised toe should be exclusively the doctor to avoid complications.

Possible complications

It may seem that a bruised toe is a small thing. The pain of injury, especially to small degrees of severity, speed and believe that is completely healthy. But it is not.

The fact that a major injury of the toe is damaged not only soft tissue but tendons. And after a certain period of time injury could remind myself that appears pain during exercise, changes in weather conditions, wearing certain kinds of shoes.

If the injury was severe, insufficient attention to treatment can lead to arthritis of the toes in the future.

Recommendations for the prevention of injuries

As a preventive measures can be advised:

  • General strengthening of the body. It is recommended the use of vitamins and other useful elements such as vitamin b, C,K, beta-carotene supplements containing chlorophyll.
  • Safety in the workplace (for example, wearing special shoes, if available) during an active holiday, in special weather conditions (e.g. ice).
  • If the injury is still received, to prevent complications it is advisable to seek help from a doctor.

Video: How to reduce swelling at the injury