A toe sprain is caused by a partial tear of the ligaments that support a toe. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to each other.
Toe sprains may be caused by:
Factors that increase your risk of getting a toe sprain include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and how you injured your toe. Your toe will be examined to assess the stability of the joint and the severity of the injury.
Images may need to be taken of your toe. This can be done with:
Toe sprains are graded according to ligament damage. The more ligaments damaged, the more severe the injury.
You will need time to heal, but strict rest is rarely necessary. RICE therapy is often advised:
Consider wearing a shoe with a stiff sole to help protect the injured toe.
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
British Columbia Association of Podiatrists
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association
Acute foot strain. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113610/Acute-foot-strain. Updated July 14, 2015. Accessed September 14, 2016.
Adult foot health. The American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society website. Available at: http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/overview/Pages/Adult-Foot-Health.aspx. Accessed May 11, 2016.
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10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.