If you think you've broken your big toe, you'll need to keep an eye out for broken big toe symptoms. A broken toe may result from an impact, such as dropping something on your foot. This is called a traumatic fracture. You can also break your toe because of a repetitive motion that puts strain on your bones–called a stress fracture. If you break one of your smaller toes, you can usually tape it to the toe next to it and let it heal on its own; a broken big toe, on the other hand, may require a cast or other medical treatment that you can't do on your own.
- Breaking sound. If you break your big toe by stubbing it or dropping something on it, you may hear the bone break at the time of the injury. You won't hear the toe break if the injury is a stress fracture.
- Pinpoint pain. After a stress fracture, you might feel pain when you touch your broken big toe. After a traumatic fracture, you might feel pain that will fade away after a few hours–but that doesn't mean this broken big toe symptom isn't serious!
- Swelling or bruising. A broken big toe won't swell up immediately, but you'll usually see swelling and bruising the day after a traumatic fracture. Swelling is a symptom of a broken big toe due to stress fracture, but bruising won't normally appear.
- Crooked appearance. A broken big toe may appear crooked or bent because of how the broken bone shifts. If the broken big toe heals while the bone isn't properly set, you may have trouble with a toe deformity and chronic pain in the future.
- Pain while standing or walking. Pain while putting pressure on the toe is a common broken big toe symptom. If your big toe doesn't hurt to walk on, however, that doesn't mean it's not broken. If you suspect a break, you should see a doctor even if you aren't in pain.