What Is a Toe Splint?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2019
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A toe splint is a device used to prevent movement in a toe following a break or other injury that causes pain when the toe is flexed or walked on. Many people make their own toe splints following an injury, particularly if the injury occurs in the little toe, or they are waiting to go see a doctor. More complex toe splints may be applied following surgery or a more significant injury, and these will often wrap around the whole foot with a metal brace that completely immobilizes a certain toe. These must generally be obtained from a physician, but in some cases they may be ordered online.

There are some things to keep in mind when fashioning a toe splint. For many people, simply taping the toe to the one next to it is sufficient to prevent it from moving and allow it to heal. It is very important to put gauze in between the two toes, however, to make sure the skin does not start to rub and become irritated. Other people will tape a wooden stick to the bottom or sides of the injured toe to prevent it from moving. In both of these cases, it is also very important to check circulation and make sure that the toe has not been taped so tight that the blood cannot flow, which will cause much worse damage than a simple break.


In many cases, making a simple toe splint at home and being careful with the toe for a few days is sufficient to heal the injury. If the pain does not improve, however, or the toe is swollen or hot to the touch, it may be necessary to visit a doctor for an exam. This can help ensure that surgery or antibiotics won't be required. A doctor may also be able to provide a more complex toe splint to keep the toe immobile.

A physician-issued toe splint will generally have a band that wraps around the top and bottom of the foot, and a padded metal splint that covers the toe on two or three sides. For severe breaks in larger toes -- such as compound fractures in which the bone comes through the skin, or if surgery is required, it might be necessary to wear a toe splint like this for a longer period of time. It is important to wear the splint as directed to be sure that the toe does not heal crooked, which could cause future pain and mobility issues.



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Post 1

I also believe I broke my pinkie toe two weeks ago. I tripped over my dog when he stood up and I tripped on him and there was immediate, excruciating pain, and soon after, swelling and bruising.

It's still swollen and red, and also has a hard lump (feels like a bone) on the inside bottom part of the toe. The lump is the size of my index fingernail. I don't know if my toe is broke, fractured or what. I have no insurance so it's very hard to afford an X-ray. It still hurts really bad. I cannot bend it to the side and have severe pain when I try. I can't wear normal shoes. I don't know

what I can wear.

I am CNA in a nursing home so I'm on my feet all night. What can I wear on my foot so I'm not doing any more damage to my toe by walking on my toe? Please help.

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