A dislocated toe is different from a broken or sprained toe. A dislocated toe can be placed back in its place easily without extending the recovery period, but the fact is that many of the symptoms of the broken toe are similar to a sprained or broken toe. The treatment for dislocated toes does not take much time to heal and gives immediate results.
The pain in the toe joint which is caused due to dislocation is mostly due to the direct or indirect impact caused to the injured part, but the injury is commonly caused due to toe sprain. A dislocated toe is the condition in which the bones are out of place and appear misaligned. The condition of toe dislocation is commonly experienced by the athletes where the original injury is often accompanied by the toe ligament tears or injuries.
The presence of toe pain must be treated as soon as possible; similarly the dislocation of the toe must be treated quickly after any injury as the resetting of the toe joint becomes easy. But in case an injured toe has not received any serious treatment even after the six hours of the injury, then it is advisable to wait for the professional help so that resetting can be carried properly.
Causes of Dislocated Toe:
The condition of dislocated toe can be caused due to both the minor and major injuries. The activities like walking on even terrain, pressurizing or overloading one part of the foot or any kind of direct trauma to the toe can result in a toe injury. The condition of dislocation in the foot is caused when the bone slips out of place or even the foot slips out of place or rolls out the foot putting unnatural stress on some part of the toe resulting in dislocation.
Toe injuries mostly dislocations are very common in sports like hockey, soccer, rugby and football, especially turf toe, in which playing on hard surface puts excessive strain on the toe. Toe pain will be there which will increase on changing the direction or stopping and starting the toe functioning on regularly. The smaller toes are at a greater risk of dislocation as compared to big toes because they are more likely to face more serious injuries.
Symptoms of Dislocated Toe: Some of the symptoms of dislocated toe are:
- Intense pain will be there in the dislocated toe especially while trying to move the injured part to pressurize the area of the toe.
- Bruising and swelling will be there and tenderness will be there in the entire affected part along with the difficulty in walking.
- It is advisable to remove the shoes and the socks in order to prevent the unnecessary pain in the toe and also prevent the toe from additional injury.
- Deformity will be noticed in the toe visibly and sometimes it can be clearly noticed that the toe is out of place.
- Sometimes even the bones of the toes appear misaligned or out of place.
- Toe paralysis or numbness will be there in case the nerves or blood vessels are pressed or being pinched.
- In case any abnormal movement is noticed in the toe or inability is felt in the movement of the toe, then it could be an indication of the complications of the dislocated toe.
- Any kind of harm or injury to the toenail, toes or foot could result in additional risks. Whenever a trauma is caused to the toe, check around carefully around the injured part, if there are some other injuries which could be the cause of the toe injury pain.
Tips to Treat a Dislocated Toe: The treatment of the dislocated toe can be divided into:
- Home Treatment
- Medical Treatment
- Exercises for dislocated toe
Home Treatment Methods for Dislocated Toe: Some of the methods of home treatment are:
The treatment of dislocated can be easily carried at home within six hours after the injury is caused. After this time frame it is not advisable to attempt the self-adjustment of the dislocated toe as it could enhance the harm which is already done. This is because the tissues within the toe start losing their elasticity after the injury is caused to them.
Crookedness will be noticed in the knuckle or the joint area of the injured toe, then there is a possibility to correct the dislocation yourself. In case you want to adjust the dislocated toe then it is advisable to pull it gently away from the foot. In this way you will be realigning the toe and allowing it to get back in its original position. This procedure is quiet painful and must be carried out quickly in one swift move, this will minimize the damage or reduce toe pain.
Give Proper Rest to the Dislocated Toe:In case the dislocated toe remains straight then it is advisable to adjust it with the help of tape and a thin piece of cotton or fabric in between the injured toe and the tape on the toe. Make sure that the tape is not very tightly tied to prevent the circulation or enhance the pain in the toe after the tape is tightly placed.
Apply RICE Treatment: The RICE treatment includes:
Rest: It is advisable to give your dislocated toe proper rest. Avoid walking, any kind of movement especially the movement along with heavy weight. Try to spend least time on your foot, especially when you have adjusted your foot yourself. So it is better to avoid unnecessary stress on your foot to prevent any further injuries on your already injured foot.
Ice: Application of ice packs on the injured part before and after the aligning of the dislocated foot will help in reducing the swelling and bruising from the affected part. Make sure that the application of the ice must not be done directly on the skin rather place the cubes of ice in a plastic bag or in a piece of cloth and then apply it on the affected part. This application will help in reducing the inflammation and swelling on the affected part but make sure that you do not numb the area or enhance the complications of the injured part. The application of ice must be carried out to contract the blood vessels and restrict the circulation of blood gently to the affected part. This will help in reducing pain and later encourage nutrients to the affected part as the vessels will dilate after the removal of the ice. The application of the ice must be carried out for twenty minutes at an interval of 2-3 hours in the initial days of the incident.
Compression: A medical band can be wrapped and pressure can be applied to the injured toe joint. This will help in reducing the swelling and limiting the movement. This will also prevent the involuntary movement of the toes and allow compression which will enhance the recovery of the dislocated toe. Make sure that the compression of the toe will prevent swelling but in case of the delay in healing process, it will limit the supply of the blood as well.
Elevation: The placement of the injured toes at a higher position will help in reducing the swelling and encourage the supply of blood to the elevated part. In case elevation of the injured part is limiting the movement of the injured area then it is advisable to reduce the elevation and focus on early healing.
Medical Treatment for Dislocated Toe:
It is advisable to seek immediate medical aid in case you are not able to straighten the dislocated toe. Consult the podiatrist who will analyze the position of the injured toe joint and will prescribe medication, special foot protection. In case the dislocation is severe then he will ask you to undertake X-rays, MRI scan etc. to determine the trauma.
Dislocated Toe Exercises: Here are a few exercises which can be carried out to bring back the dislocated toe to its original position. They are:
Vertical Toe Raise: Place the hands in between two solid positions at the level of your waist so as to support and carefully lower the weight towards the injured foot. Now press the feet into the ground in such a way that the injured is raised away from the point till the position of the pain. Stay in this position for some time giving adequate support to the body with the help of your hands and then slowly return back to the original position. You can carry out this exercise 10-12 times in one repetition. Try to do it 2-3 times in a day for better results.
Horizontal Toe Press: In this exercise injured foot is pressed against the wall with the tip of the toes just touching the wall. In order to carry out this exercise injured leg is placed behind the body and hands are placed on the wall for support. Now very carefully try to level the toes on the wall and then apply pressure downwards restricting the toe till the point of the pain. Remain in the position for a few seconds and then slowly return back to your original position. This exercise can be repeated 12 times and can be carried out 2-3 times in a day.
Vertical Toe Press: In this exercise, placement of the hands must be done on two solid objects at the level of the waist. Now curl the toe in backward direction and press it in the ground till the point of pain is felt. Hold the position for a few seconds and then leave to return back to your original position. This exercise can be repeated 12 times in one sitting and 2-3 times in a day.
Prevention of Dislocated Toe:
It is very important to prevent your injured toe from any further injury. For this purpose it is important that you consult your podiatrist from time to time and in case of severe discomfort even after realignment contact him immediately.
While you are about to resume your normal activities, sports etc. make sure that you are cautious enough while carrying them out. Avoid putting excessive stress suddenly, slowly and gradually bring back your dislocated toe to its normal routine.