Dislocated Toe



A toe dislocation is caused by trauma from:

  • A force that jams the end of the toe
  • Forcefully twisting or bending the toe
  • Forcefully bending the toe backwards

Risk Factors

Playing contact sports may raise the risk of a toe dislocation.



Problems may be:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • A change in the way the toe looks
  • Problems moving the toe


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. Questions will also be asked about how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the foot.

Pictures of the foot may be needed. This can be done with x-rays.



It can take 8 weeks to heal. It depends on which toe was injured and how severe it was. The goal of treatment is to help the bone heal properly to prevent long term problems.

Putting Bone Back in Place

The bone will need to be put back into place so it will heal properly. The doctor may do this through either of the following:

  • Carefully moving the bones and using tension to align them. Anesthesia will be given help to manage pain.
  • Surgery to put the bones back into place and to repair any damaged ligaments (rare)


Support can include:

  • Medicine to ease pain and swelling
  • Tape, a splint, a walking boot, or a stiff soled shoe to support the bones as they heal
  • Crutches to allow movement with less stress on injured bones
  • Exercises to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion


This injury is due to an accident. These are hard to prevent.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.