Dislocated Toe – Causes, Symptoms & Exercises to Fix it

All you need to know about that ‘Dislocated Toe’

Rather common these days in young adults due to untrained playing habits and absence of appropriate sports gear, knowing about ‘Dislocated toe’ would not root harm.

For all you football players, the chances of this article coming handy are all the more bright. You can hit a ball wrong or a wrong ball can come and hit you on your toe. In very old fellows sometime walking on an uneven terrain can result in this type of injury.

Now you may confuse it with Turf toe, sprained toe or broken toe, well it is not. Here’s how you know why:​

The ‘Dislocated toe’ would look and feel something like this -​ (Exclusive symptoms)

  • Intense pain in and around affected toe with or without movement radiating upwards​.
  • Inability to walk or cast pressure on foot
  • Localized swelling, bruising, tenderness
  • Visible deformity or mal-alignment (not present in Turf toe, sprained toe)
  • Possible Discoloration or Numbness, if blood vessels or nerves arebeing involved

Causes of Dislocated Toe

How could you possibly get this, rather what you can avoid...

  • ​Walking on un even terrain like Indian roads with pebbles and pot holes
  • Overloading pressure on one portion of the foot during sports like football
  • Any activity of high impact where the toe hyper-flexes or hyper-extends into an abnormal position with whole body weight.
  • Direct trauma to the toe like disbalancing during a sport or running.
  • Injury or Road traffic Accident.
  • Rolling of the foot due to loss of balance or wet floor.
  • Not warming up before an intense sports activity.
  • Untrained performance like changing direction during Sports such as rugby, soccer, hockey and football, quickly or stopping and starting on a regular basis.

Treatment & Exercises for Dislocated Toe

Prepare for the Conservative

Well I recommend the dislocated toe to be taken to an immediate medical assistance.

Meanwhile to prevent further damage, the affected toe needs to be tied to the adjacent toe with a tape (not too tight though). Do not bear weight on your affected foot and use our good old ‘R.I.C.E.’ therapy.​

Rest: You know how that works, don’t you 😉

Ice: Apply cold to reduce swelling. Use a thin hand towel with ice or an ice pack to hold it against the toe, do not press, you might end up aggravating the damage.

If ice is not accessible cold water or frozen can might be used. Till the time medical aid becomes available apply cold in short intervals.

Compression: Now the toe is already tied to the adjacent toe, try using an elasto crepe to hold your entire foot to compress.

Do not over tighten the bandage.

Elevation: Keep affected leg straight and support it above the body level with the help of a pillow or 2. While commuting to the medical facility this would come handy.​

Reduction of Dislocated toe​

You must know how the Reduction will go​.

At Medical facility you might have to undergo a few scans X -ray or MRI to confirm the injury and analyze the extent of damage.

Not to scare you or anything, there are chances that the toe might require reduction which is painful but local anesthesia is a rebate.

The toe will then be stabilized with the help of your adjacent toe.This follows by rest and elevation for a week followed by carefully regimented physiotherapy program​.

​1. Non weight bearing: Even with your toe tied up, keep up the moving habits with healthy leg and a walker (and yes it will look cool).

2. Keep your other toes moving to enhance circulation and thus healing.​

3. Third day onward try isometrics​.

Place your leg straight with the cast still on, press your toe against a wall till pain allows. Repeat 15 times, straight push and side push.​

4. Once the orthopaedician green signals start with sit to rise with the help of your affected toe, both feet followed by just the affected foot.Practice full weight bearing, walk without any aid using the affected foot as much as possible.​

5. Once the cast is off, use exercises for intrinsic muscles of foot.​

Place a towel on the floor; curl it in with your affected foot followed by curling it out. 15 times each (do not forget to rest in between)

This exercise can be done in cold bath if the pain is much after the cast is removed.

The recovery is as quick as 2-3 weeks depending on the extent of an injury. Now what you should remember is any dislocated joint is more prone to being dislocated again.

So make sure to take proper rehabilitation, warm-ups and gears before you return to your favourite sport. There are splints available to prevent laxed joints from dislocating again, use them while playing. Remember hard work have no shortcuts.

Happy Exercising!!!

Dr. Tripti Ojha
 

Dr. Tripti Ojha, Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Masters in Hospital Administration with around 9 year experience as an expert healthcare practitioner and an eminent healthcare Manger. She has provided her inputs in academics, Healthcare products, wellness, insurance, TPA, hospitals, fitness, laboratories etc. Her approach towards healthcare content and research is impeccable and fresh. She has written and edited numerous healthcare articles, blogs, info graphs and the like. We hope for you to find her writings to be of great use.

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