How To Splint, Tape and Heal A Broken Pinkie Toe

So this happened on Sunday. I broke my pinkie toe and it’s not very awesome.

My pinkie toe moved and the steel leg of the coffee table didn’t and now I have to deal with it.

The good (and somewhat hard to believe) news is that the doctor told me I’d still be able to run the SF Marathon at the end of July with no issues. She said I should be able to run in less than two weeks and It’s only a little over a month away so I’m not sure if I’m so confident in my superhuman powers of healing, but I guess we’ll see.

Going through this process I figured out some answers to questions that ran through my head initially after accidentally kicking the leg of a coffee table and I thought it might be helpful to lay them out for any of you who might happen to find yourself is the same situation. If you have any other questions you need answered, let me know in the comments — I’m more than happy to help.

How do you know if you broke your pinkie toe?

Oh, don’t worry — you’ll know this answer within 5 minutes of hitting it on something. I’ve hit my toe into things many, many times but this one was different for a few different reasons.

    1. It started throbbing and felt numb when I touched it.
    2. It physically looked broken as my pinkie toe was separated much more from the second toe than it should be.
    3. It just kept hurting and within 10-15 minutes the swelling was starting to show up and the pain was only getting worse. It actually didn’t hurt that much after theย initialย pain when I was just sitting there with no pressure on it, but when I tried to walk on it there’s no way that was happening.

Do you need to go to the doctor for a broken pinkie toe?

Most people you talk to would that you don’t need to go to the doctor for a broken pinkie toe and they would mostly be right. But, I had read that some people needed to have their bones reset to get the back in place so I didn’t really want to risk it. All you can do once you’re bone is all lined up is to splint your toe with some tape and wait for it to heal. If you can see the doctor for cheap then I say go for it, but if not there’s a pretty good chance you can just splint it and your pinkie toe will heal up just fine. If you have any questions or feel like you broke it really bad, go to the doctor asap.

How do you splint a broken pinkie toe with tape?

Being shown how to tape up my pinkie toe is the best thing I got from going to the doctor. She used a thicker, stretchy, one-sided tape that I haven’t been able to find online anywhere that really worked great for splinting and has no problems staying on all day long. The splinting method is simple and it looks like the photo below. That was the splinting job that was done by the doctor during my visit to the hospital so it’s a good example of how to do it.


How long will it take to heal a broken pinkie toe?

I’m not sure about this answer (since it just happened two days ago), but the doctor told me that the bone should be healed enough in 10-14 days to be able to jog/run. She said within 5 weeks it will be really strong and pretty much back to where it was (although there might be some pain to deal with). I’m two days into my healing process and I am already to the point to where I’m not needing to limp anymore. It’s bruising up, but the swelling is really the only thing that’s slowing it down. I’m elevating it as much as I can and that’s really the key to making it heal faster. In other words all you should focus on is splinting it, staying off of it and keeping it elevated as much as possible.

I really hope all of this helps you out and if you need anything else let me know. It’s never fun going through these things, but they happen. All we can do it take care of the injury as much as we can and get healed up as soon as possible.


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  5. maxinehiggs

    just did it this morning really sucks had to move my toe back over because it was on the side of my foot really weird postion you could really tell i broke it hope the tape method works have to work. Thanks for the info

  6. cranswil

    Thanks for this. My problem mine has been two weeks and two days and it’s throbing it doesn’t look broken but I keep touching it and it’s sore to the touch. I’m away to tape it up.



    • Hup

      Yeah, tape that thing up and you’ll be good to go in no time. I’m glad this helped and happy healing!

  7. LeftPinkieToeSoSad

    I dropped a heavy bottle of salsa on my pinkie today… pretty sure it’s at least fractured. Will be doing the splinter-tape job! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Hup

      Ouch! That sounds more painful than kicking the leg of a coffee table. I hope you heal up quick and I’m glad I helped you find what you needed. Happy healing!

  8. ursulahop

    Yeah I kicked a metal bar, broke my pinkie toe. Trouble is I work on my feet 8 hours per day. By end of day I hurt. Going to try your splint method. Looks more effective. Hope my job won’t kill healing process for me. It has been 10 days already since.

  9. GymnastMomma

    I think my daughter just broke her toe practicing gymnastics here at home. Ugh! Of course she has a meet in 3 weeks. Off to find some good tape, thank you for this blog entry!

  10. chris.314

    I broke my pinkie toe a few summers ago from tripping over a tree and it never really healed all the way and then I broke my toe yesterday playing football. I think I’ll try the tape this time.

  11. Tricia Hopalong

    I just broke my toe an hour ago and it’s already bruising, swelling and hurting when I walk on it. The picture is worth a thousand words. I am going to the pharmacy to get some tape. I have duct tape but thought that might be a bit too much. Thank you for your blog!

  12. jillian.burns

    Stubbed mine on a wooden chair yesterday, instantly got swollen and black and blue with a lot of throbbing pain. Thank you for the splinting method!

  13. mham

    Great info! I tried this taping strategy and can walk easier. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Eve

    I kicked the wall on sunday and my toe has gone all swollen and it was out of place i put it back in place but what I’m worried about is I have cross country in 2 weeks and practice on every Monday Tuesday and Wednesday what do I do about that

  16. Bert

    I don’t think I have broken my toe, third day now, it is just a bit numb, but I can walk, even though after a long day it starts hurting a bit. However, inbetween the two little toes the skin is badly ripped with insides showing:/ the bleeding had stopped the next day. During the day I buddy tape them together, but in the evening I let them breathe, the wound is not healing and I don’t really know how to approach this.. Any opinions?
    Thank you..

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  18. Just broke my pinkie toe last night…really painful : ( …but I just wanted to give anyone looking into home remedies a method of elevating you foot without pillows…find a hook you can screw into your ceiling and screw it in above your favorite lounging spot…example: i put mine above my couch so I could lay back…once you’ve done that get a string or something similar and tie it to the hook…then on the other end tie the string to its self at a comfortable height and there you have it…a homemade harness/sling to hold your foot in the air

    • Also you can fold up a T-shirt or something to cushion the string so there is no added pain or discomfort

  19. NLMesq

    Thank you for this! I’ve apparently been splinting this all wrong, and your taping has made my foot walk-able again! Hooray!

  20. ow ow ow

    Thanks for the picture. Looks better than what I came up with.
    It’s amazing how much I move my toes when doing normal everyday things. Pain is a good teacher and every move is a lesson. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Kathy

    So were you able to run your race? How did you maintain fitness until then? Broke my toe with 3 weeks till next Half Marathon.

    • Hup

      No, I wasn’t able to run my race. It took me nearly a year to get back to where I was before I broke it, too which was a total bummer. But, eventually I got there. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • John

        Nearly a year to get back to where you were fitness/running wise, or your toe? Yikes

  22. Amina Ammoura

    Do you if this method would work with a toddler who has a hammer toe?

  23. Thank You sooooo much . I hate not being able to move around. Now im forced to not work this sucks!!!!!Should i stay home an entire week from work or go in on Friday? ??? Not to mention it will mess up my pay

  24. Steven

    I broke my pinkie toe by putting my walker on it and baring all my weight on it (now on purpose I have nurse damage in the foot) it is healing well but still bruised. I had broken it years ago and it set wrong and looked funny. Funny thing is this time it looks normal again.

  25. Asia

    Thank you so much Ryan, this totally steered me on the right direction to Pinky Toe recovery… ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  26. Michelle

    Omg my exact story thanks. I’d love a follow up.

  27. Maggie Jay

    Thanks for the info. I had surgery on my big toe Friday & hit my pinkie toe on a metal cart today(tues) My doc was not pleased I wasn’t wearing my boot! So I didn’t want to ask him how long it would take to heal. He redressed my surgery toe & wrapped my pinkie toe to my forth toe. It hurts more than the surgery toe! I’m 57 & this is my first brokenbone. Figures ….since I was bragging about that 6 weeks ago when I fell & injured my foot!

  28. Lynn Marsden

    I’ve just broke my pinkie on a table leg. I’ve taped it up like your picture and I’m elevating it now so hopefully your method will work. Thankyou Lynn.

  29. Brian

    Just happened to me too. Thanks for the write up.

  30. Diane

    I wish I’d gotten the same response from doctor. She realigned it (podiatrist, two days after the ER trapped it), splinted it, and instructed me to do as little weight-bearing as possible for 6 weeks. I have to wear “the boot” whenever I have to walk. (My husband’s running for office, and we’re in that early stage of meetings, events, and knocking on doors. I can’t do the third until mid-November, and I’m cutting back on meetings, but events are a requirement.
    I asked if I could get a boot in navy blue, just to give me more wardrobe choices. That wasn’t a serious question, but a real problem is finding a semi- dress shoe that’s the same height as the boot, so I don’t put more pressure on it when I stand or walk. Along with a host of other women’s wardrobe issues, you can’t find a shoe when you can’t go shopping.
    I just had to resplint it because the “popsicle stick” moved, which brought me to your page. Thanks for the picture! (And the comment section. I know my venting didn’t add much to the conversation.)

  31. Patricia Bartha

    Thanks for the information. I broke my right pinkie toe when I was packing away the groceries & knocked down the jar of vegemite. (I am not a happy vegemite now). Was in pain after I went ten pin bowling Monday (23rd October).

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