Do I need to wear a special shoe for my broken toe?

A broken toe can be very painful. While this injury is common, it can cause plenty of problems. There are many types of broken toes; some are severe, and some are less so. It's important to see your podiatrist if you think you've got a broken toe. Because the way we treat your injury, and the way we guide your recovery, will depend on they type of fracture you've sustained. 

surgical shoe and boot for broken toe

Diagnosing a Broken Toe

You have 14 bones in your toe, and you may break one or more of them. The only way to confirm a fracture is with an X-Ray. That's why we offer in-office imaging. That way, your podiatrist can diagnose your broken toe and start treatment right away. But what will that treatment look like? And how will you walk while recovering from a broken toe? That all depends on the nature of your injury. 

Of course, we worry about wearing regular shoes with a broken toe. Because the pressure could cause you pain, or even delay your healing. Now, some people can get away with wearing regular shoes. But, if this is the case for your injury, you should choose a low heeled or tennis shoe. Something that's stable and comfortable to help your healing. 

Just remember: some people will have to wear a special surgical shoe for broken toes. And this is how we decide which footwear you'll need if your toe is broken. 

When Do You Need a Surgical Shoe for a Broken Toe?  

When we're treating your broken toe, we may recommend wearing a surgical shoe. And there are a few factors we'll look at before making those decisions. Here are some of the questions we'll explore when choosing your foot wear after a toe fracture. It will depending on where the toe is broken, and which toe is broken.

If your great toe is broken, your Houston Podiatrist will almost certainly keep you out of regular shoes while you heal. Why is this toe fracture treated differently? Because of the amount of pressure your big toe bears, you will likely have to wear a surgical shoe while you heal. In fact, in some cases, you may need a fracture walking boot with a broken big toe. We'll evaluate your injury and make the proper recommendation, to ensure it heals properly. 

We'll also see if your fractured toe is in a good position. Because if the break displaced your bone, you may need surgery. (If you have a displaced fracture, your toe may look crooked.) And then you'll likely be wearing a surgical boot while you recover. Of course, I'll also look at how stable your bones appear to be after we set your broken toe. Because, if it seems like pressure would delay your recovery, we'll recommend a surgical shoe while you recover.

Now, if we recommend wearing a surgical shoe, we'll help you wear it properly. Because wearing your shoe properly will be an important part of your recovery. 

How to Wear Surgical Shoes with a Broken Toe

First, let's look carefully at this wearable medical device. A surgical shoe is special foot wear that lets you put weight on your foot without compromising your recovery. How does it do that job? The stable sole on a surgical shoe keeps your toe from moving too much. And this is important, because broken toes need to be immobilized in order to heal.  

Remember, don't get upset if you need to wear a surgical shoe. This treatment will actually leave you feeling more comfortable. Plus, it will lower your risk of long-term complications.  (If your broken toe doesn't heal properly, your risk for arthritis will increase. And your toe could permanently change shape. Leaving you with a painful or unsightly deformity.)

Recovering from a Broken Toe If we operate on your broken toe, you will need to wear a surgical shoe

Wondering how long you'll need to wear that surgical shoe while you heal your broken toe? Of course, every patient is different. And that means broken toe recovery times will vary. Still, we can look at average healing times for injuries, to help you know what to expect. 

When it comes to broken toes, most bones will heal within six weeks. Now, if you have a hairline fracture, or a stress fracture, you'll likely heal faster. Or, if you had a displaced fracture treated with surgery, your recovery may last longer. 

But, regardless of your injury, there are things you can do to speed up your recovery. Be sure to follow all of your podiatrist's instructions. From wearing a surgical shoe to resting or icing your broken toe, listening to your doctor should speed up your recovery. (Or, at the very least, not increase your healing time.)

And here's the most important way to heal from a broken toe: see your podiatrist as soon as you notice pain. Because, the sooner we diagnose your broken toe, the sooner we can being treatment. In that way, we can take pressure off your toe. This will prevent any worsening problems and offer you pain relief while you heal. 

For that reason, you need a fast X-ray if you think you have a broken toe. But that doesn't have to mean long waits at the ER. Instead, come into my office right away. I can get you X-rayed, immobilized and in your surgical shoe for broken toes all in one visit. That way we'll get you on the road to recovery as fast as safely possible! 
 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.