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Used ice for swollen and purple toe. What else should I do?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
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I kicked a heavy box and my big toe is swollen and purple. Im going to ice it nd stay off it, but is ther anything else I should do?
Posted Wed, 5 Dec 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.
The swollen and purple big toe after an injury is suggestive of a hematoma formation. If there is minimal pain on the movement of the toe, then a bone injury is not likely.
If there is a considerable pain on bearing weight then investigations like X-ray and MRI are advisable to detect the bony injury and surgical fixation might be required for pain relief and proper healing.
In case there is no bone injury then doing a hot fomentation and taking mild pain killers will help in decreasing the swelling over 4-5 weeks.
You can self monitor the area for any redness, pain and sudden increase in the size which are indicators of infection in the area. In such a case a physician consultation is necessary for systemic antibiotics and to assess regarding the surgical drainage.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Used ice for swollen and purple toe. What else should I do? 1 hour later
So it hurts like hell and is very stiff. Is there anyway for me to tell if its broken or just jammed?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 22 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
You will need an X-ray or a physical examination to know the difference. You may feel a grinding noise on movement in case it is broken.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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