A toe sprain is stretching or tearing of the ligaments that support a toe. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that hold bones to each other.
A toe sprain is caused by trauma from things like:
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Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked how you hurt your toe. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on your toe.
It can be hard to tell a toe sprain from a fracture or dislocation. Pictures of the foot may be taken. This can be done with:
Treatment will depend on the injury and how severe it is. The goal of treatment is to ease pain and improve movement. Choices are:
Most toe sprains are due to accidents. They cannot always be prevented. The risk may be lowered by wearing the right athletic shoes for activities.
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 October 12, 2020.
Chauvin NA, Jaimes C, et al. Ankle and foot injuries in the young athlete. Sem Musculoskelet Radiol.2018;22(1):104-117
Derry S, Moore RA, et al. Topical NSAIDs for acute musculoskeletal pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2015;(6):CD007402.
Du P, Chen K, et al. The pediatric ankle and foot: a review of common injuries in the pediatric athlete and their treatments. Annals of Joints.2018;(3):35-46.
Sports injuries. National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sports_Injuries/default.asp. Accessed October 12, 2020.
Topical NSAIDs. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-review/topical-nsaids. Accessed October 9, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT Last Updated: 6/8/2021