Sprained Pinky Toe Pain or Broken Pinky Toe?

Sprained Pinky Toe or Broken Pinky Toe Pain? STOP continuing to live in pain: Follow these simple steps to make your pain goes away FOREVER!

 

 

Sprained Pinky Toe vs. Broken Pinky Toe Symptoms:

A sprained pinky toe and broken pinky toe will really hurt for the first couple days. This is the inflammatory response taking place. This does not mean that you have having any permanent damage take place.

 

Sprained Pinky Toe:

  • A sprained pinky toe is damage to the ligaments.
  • Pain in the entire pinky toe.
  • Possible numbness, burning & tingling due to nerve irritation. This can be more noticeably even at night time.
  • Swelling & edema in the entire little toe.
  • Swelling & edema in the pinky toe joint.
  • Bruising at the bottom of the outside of the foot or pinky toe a day or two later.

 

Broken Pinky Toe:

  • Similar symptoms to the sprained pinky toe , but rather than damage to the ligaments holding the bones together, the actual bone is broken.
  • As a general rule, bone damage causes more swelling and bruising than soft tissue injury.
  • With a broken pinky toe, these symptoms will be more noticeable and more painful.Although this is not reliable enough to make a true diagnosis.
  • The only true way to be able to diagnose a pinky toe fracture is if the toe is clearly displaced.
  • Most fractures are not dislocated and simply have a crack but no displacement.
  • A broken pinky toe will have more bruising and swelling than a sprained toe.

 

 

Sprained Pinky Toe
The pinky toe is very susceptible to being sprained & damaged when barefoot. It is the weakest & least protected toe on the foot. From this image it is almost impossible to tell whether it is broken or just sprained pinky toe pain.

 

Causes Of A Sprained Pinky Toe or Broken Pinky Toe:

 

Both a sprained pinky toe or a broken pinky toe can be caused by the following:

  • A sprained pinky toe usually happens as the big toe is bent backwards.
  • This is common when walking barefoot and bumping the 5th toe.
  • The pinky toe is not very strong & is easily overcome by a stubbing or forcefully striking an object.
  • It is most common while walking barefoot or with tremendous force.
  • This toe is the most fragile and smallest of all the toes.
  • A broken pinky toe is usually caused with greater force than a simple sprain of the toe.

 

 

Sprained Pinky Toe vs. Broken Pinky Toe.
The vast majority of sprained pinky toe joints will get much better in a couple days. They will then be completely better in about 1-2 weeks! If it is taking longer than this, odds are that it may be broken.

 

Is My Pinky Toe Broken Or Sprained?

This is very difficult to say for sure. An X-ray is usually needed for confirmation.

Broken pinky toe treatment
This high amount of bruising is more likely that you have a broken pinky toe or a fracture pinky toe. Yet even though this is likely broken, it is impossible to know without getting an X-ray first.
  • The only way to know 100% is to head to your podiatrist’s office or the ER for X-ray imaging.
  • There are many cases where a sprained big toe looks worse than a broken toe, although generally really bad bruising and pain are more likely to be a fracture.
  • There are other cases where very mild injuries can result in a broken toe.

 

Think Broken Pinky Toe If:

Crunching noise during the injury.

Severe swelling & bruising.

Complete inability to move the toe.

Obvious deformity.

Broken pinky toe
With this amount of edema and bruising, we would think that this is broken, but at the same time it is hard to tell for sure without imaging.

Think Sprained Toe If:

No cracking or crumpling noise during the time of injury.

No significant bruising or pain.

No obvious damage.

 

Sprained Pinky Toe vs. Broken Pinky Toe Recovery Time:

broken little toe

There are three grades of sprained pinky toe injuries. The recovery time can very based on what grade of sprain you have. Don’t worry, most sprains are a grade 1 injury.

 

Sprained Pinky Toe Recovery Time:

1) Grade 1 Pinky Toe Sprain:

The joint capsule & soft tissue are simply stretched.

This is the vast majority of pinky toe sprains, no matter how painful they are initially.

This results in a more mild amount of swelling & bruising.

Perform initial treatment as detailed below.

Sprained Pinky Toe Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks.

 

2) Grade 2 Pinky Toe Sprain:

This is a partial tear of the plantar anatomy.

This results in severe bruising & swelling.

It is usually indistinguishable from a grade 1 sprain early on.

This likely does not need any surgery or intervention.

It is a good idea to head in for precautionary imaging at your podiatrist’s office.

Perform initial treatment as detailed below.

Sprained Pinky Toe Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks.

 

3) Grade 3 Pinky Toe Sprain:

This is a complete tear of the soft tissue anatomy.

This causes severe swelling & bruising.

There is possible deformity.

This will require a visit to the podiatrist for imaging and intervention.

Sprained Pinky Toe Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks. Will require podiatrist intervention & imaging. 

 

Sprained Pinky Toe
The only way to know if the pinky toe is broken for sure is to get an X-ray!

 

Broken Pinky Toe Recovery Time:

Non-displaced Broken Pinky Toe:

If your pinky toe is not deformed and broken out of place it will be sore for a little while.

Generally it can take a few weeks for the pain to start to go away.

Most people have bruising and pain for more than 6-8 weeks.

It is normal to have a sore toe for even over 3+ months.

See your podiatrist for imaging if it is not starting to get better pretty quickly.

 

Displaced Broken Pinky Toe:

If you have a deformity or severe bend in your toe this may require some interention.

If you have a displaced toe then you may need a pin to hold it back into place, but usually under imaging a podiatrist or emergency room doctor can pop the toe back into place.

The good news is that even with a broken and displaced pinky toe, you should not really have any long term damage or disability.

A displaced broken pinky toe does require immediate intervention. Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible!

Again this can take up to 3+ months until full recovery is achieved.

 

Dislocated Pinky Toe Pain:

  • If you have a dislocated or deformed pinky toe this means one of two things: This is either a fractured pinky toe or there is a complete tearing of the joint capsule.
  • If this has happened to you, it is very necessary to see your podiatrist or an emergency room doctor very quickly.
  • With continued dislocation this can cause more permanent damage to the soft tissue envelope.
  • Symptoms and causes will be very similar to that of a severely sprained or broken pinky toe.

 

fractured pinky toe

 

Dislocated Pinky Toe Treatment:

There are two treatment options for a dislocated pinky toe:

 

dislocated pinky toe
A dislocated pinky toe in this case happened secondary to a fracture of the growth plate. You can see that it is actually a combination of a broken pinky toe and a dislocated pinky toe.
1)Pinky Toe surgery:
  • This involved usually replacing the pinky toe back into position.
  • If it does not stay there, it may need to be pinned with a wire.
  • This wire can stay in place for up to 4-6 weeks depending on how your toe is healing.

 

 

2)Manual re-positioning:

  • This re-positioning of the dislocated pinky toe under imaging is generally very successful.
  • Fluoroscopy is a live imaging option that we do have available at the emergency room

 

 

Sprained Pinky Toe Treatment:

Sprained pinky toe treatment generally consists of a few simple things that you can do yourself at home. But if you have any concerns about more serious damage, make sure to go see your podiatrist for X-rays and more in depth evaluation.

 

A)Wear a good supportive pair of shoes:

  • Getting a good supportive running shoe will take pressure off the pinky toe sprain.
  • If you are still feeling pain, you may need a shoe with mesh or soft cloth around the edge of the fifth toe.
  • Sometimes if there is stitches or pressure along this site, it can continue to irritate the toe.
  • So ideally you will have a good stiff running shoe with mesh non-restrictive cloth surrounding the 5th toe site.

 

B)Budding taping:

  • Budding taping consists of wrapping the fifth toe joint with tape.
  • This is usually more important for the other toes like the big toe, but it can still help for the fifth toe.
  • All this does is prevents excess motion of the 5th toe.
  • It will not make it heal faster, but it will make the toe have less motion and possibly less damage.
Sprained Pinky Toe
If it is just a mild sprain, lightly tape the pinky toe to the 4th toe for security. This is called a buddy splint.
C)Pinky Toe Splint:
  • Sometimes a pinky toe splint may be necessary, but this is very very rare!
  • Pinky toe splints just are not very practical.

 

D)Rest:

  • There is really no secret to the sprained pinky toe.
  • The key is really resting it and giving it a few weeks to get better.
  • So if you have a 12 hour shift that you need to work, this may take longer to heal.

 

Broken Pinky Toe Treatment:

 

A)Wear a good supportive pair of shoes for you broken baby toe:

  • Getting a good supportive running shoe will protect and take pressure off the baby toe sprain.  This is similar to treatment for your sprained baby toe.
  • If you are still feeling pain, you may need a shoe with mesh or soft cloth around the edge of the fifth toe.
  • Sometimes if there is stitches or pressure along this site, it can continue to irritate the toe.
  • So ideally you will have a good stiff running shoe with mesh non-restrictive cloth surrounding the 5th toe site.

 

 

B)Budding taping for your broken baby toe:

  • Budding taping consists of wrapping the fifth toe joint with tape.
  • This is usually more important for the other toes like the big toe, but it can still help for the fifth toe.
  • All this does is prevents excess motion of the 5th toe.
  • It will not make it heal faster, but it will make the toe have less motion and possibly less damage.

 

 

C)Pinky Toe Splint for broken small toes:

  • A pinky toe splint does not really make sense for broken small toes.
  • Stick with a good supportive shoe and buddy taping for your treatment.

broken small toe

D)Broken Pinky Toe Cast:
  • A broken pinky toe cast does not make sense, just like a pinky toe splint is not very practical.
  • Stick with great shoes and buddy taping.
  • The only way a broken pinky toe cast is necessary is if you end up needing surgery and have further fractures.

 

 

 

Fractured Pinky Toe or Jones Fracture Treatment:

 

 

  • A fractured pinky toe is exactly the same as a broken pinky toe or a broken baby toe, these terms basically mean the same thing.
  • Treat your fractured pinky toe just like you would the above broken pinky toe.
  • If you have a jones or fifth metatarsal fracture which is further up the bone, consider this treatment video.

 

 

 

broken pinky toe cast
The fifth toe may be broken at the metatarsal area, this is called a jones fracture, not a pinky toe fracture.

 

Other Outside of the Foot Pain Causes:

Skin Problems:

Calluses are thick patches of skin that appear in sites of friction against the shoe, the floor or any other part of the foot. The danger is a blister can form underneath the callus!

A corn looks like a little pebble that can form, they usually even occur with a callus around them. This can be exceptionally painful.

Follow our at home pain relief guides, how to trim your nails properly and even how to remove them permanently.

These occur from stubbing your toe, so learn how to deal with them properly! Is it broken or is it just bruised, find out with this guide.

 

Bone and Joint Problems:

This is when you toe looks really big and as if though its popping out at the base.

This is when you have a crooked or curved toe.

 

5th Metatarsal Pain:

 

Muscle & Tendon Pain:

 

Pain in the Small Toes:

Most Likely

 

Ball of the foot:

5th Toe

About the author

The Modern Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist Doctor):Today's podiatrist is required to undergo rigorous medical training that licenses them as physicians with equivalent legal standing to the MD and DO degree (These are physician recognized licenses most common only in the USA). Although admittedly the training does differ between the three degrees. The differences are listed below.In Michigan Podiatrists are trained and authorized to perform surgery in the foot and ankle up to the tibial tubercle below the knee.All our podiatrists and foot doctors have undergone rigorous training including a 4 undergraduate college degree, writing the medical school entrance exam (MCAT), followed by a 4 year medical school degree (DPM - Doctor of Podiatric Medicine),Once podiatrists in the USA complete the rigorous 4 year medical school courses, they are required to complete a minimum of 3 years of a surgical and non-surgical residency program. Some podiatrists and foot doctors then choose to go on to further fellowship training specializing in various forms of specialty such as diabetic surgery or reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.The training is not over yet! Each podiatrist must be judged by a governing body where they submit their surgical cases and are reviewed regularly to ensure excellent results. This is a career long evaluation with board qualifications and certifications every few years.So have faith that today's podiatrist is your best choice for your foot and ankle problems! We are able to approach you foot and ankle problems from a non-surgery perspective, but that when necessary we can provide you with the treatment that you need!All articles written by this account are considered to be for educational purposes only. It is impossible for us to truly assess your condition and the advice we give here is meant to give you a basis to then follow up with your podiatrist and foot doctor later.If you have any questions at all, or there is anything that we can help you with, please feel free to contact our office or email us. Podiatrists provide medically necessary treatment which should be covered by valid insurance plans, we are not a cosmetic or elective medical specialty.