A fractured hallux usually occur as a result of severe impact and usually have associated bruising, but there are times you don’t have much bruising at all. If you think your toe is broken from running or repetitive stress, then it is likely just a sore bruised toe or a stress fracture, not a broken toe.
The only way to know for sure is to go in for an X-ray, because if the toe is not obviously deformed then it is impossible to know for sure. There are some tricks that may sway you one way or the other, but this is risky because ***If the fracture is serious and not properly healed – you will have permanent arthritis****.
Rough guide for a fractured hallux vs bruised hallux:
1) Feel for a deformity – if it is uneven it is a broken toe.
2) Wiggling your toe- if no severe pain or rubbing/popping sound, may not be a break.
3)If your toe is extremely swollen (2x the size)- it may be broken.
4)Compare that toe to your other foot, if it looks shorter or bent – it may be broken.
5)Check your temperature- after a break you are more likely to have the surrounding area inflammed.
Concerns of a Bruised or Fractured Hallux
When To Call a Podiatrist for a Fractured Hallux
When to go to the ER for a Fractured Hallux
Home Treatment for a Fractured Hallux
References for a Fractured Hallux: