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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:
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Here are some factors that may raise your risk:
This problem may result in:
You will be asked about your symptoms and how you injured your toe. Your toe will be checked to find out if it is stable and how badly it is injured.
Pictures may need to be taken of your toe. This can be done with:
Toe sprains are graded from 1 to 3.
Some microtearing of ligament
You will need time to heal, but strict rest is rarely needed. RICE therapy is often advised:
Consider wearing a shoe with a stiff sole to help protect the toe.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and over-the-counter pain medicines may be advised.
Topical pain medicines, such as creams and patches, can also be put on the skin.
Often, toe sprains can’t be prevented. However, to reduce your risk of getting a sprained toe, wear stiff-soled athletic shoes when playing sports.
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
British Columbia Association of Podiatrists
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association
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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Sports injuries. National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sports_Injuries/default.asp. Published February 28, 2016. Accessed June 11, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT, GCS Last Updated: 6/22/2015