Painful Toe? Could Be a Bed Post Fracture

Today is a sad day in history as I am actually writing a blog about a show that no one on earth should ever watch. Based on some competitive mother’s of pre-teen cheerleaders, this show covers what is wrong in our world. However, on TLC’s Cheer Perfection, a tiny tumbler suffered a broken 5th toe. The girl’s mother claims that because it isn’t a very big bone and shouldn’t hurt that bad because it is so small.

In reality, because of the small size of the toe the sudden increase in inflammation is very pronounced for such a small area of the body. Many people actually complain that small toe injuries cause significant pain.

Toe injuries are very common in tot-sized-tumblers, but are not only sports injuries. In older patient populations with a shuffling gate, the toes are more prone to “stub” into night stands and coffee tables. Dr. Jeff Bowman calls these injuries Bed Post Fractures. It is common that the injury is not a fracture but a sprain of the joint capsule or the ligaments around the small joints of the toes. This stretching of the capsule’s ligaments can often feel as though a toe is broken. In any event this should be checked by your local foot and ankle specialist.

Given the small area inside the toes, any amount of swelling causes a significant increase in pressure. Imagine filling two balloons with the same amount of water, but one balloon can stretch to the size of a baseball while the other balloon can stretch to the size of a basketball. If you were to pour a pint of water into each balloon, the pressure inside the smaller balloon would be significantly greater.

With small toe injuries, the swelling from a broken bone or inflamed capsule is often enough to cause significant pain-almost as much pain as watching a bunch of bickering women fight over their daughter’s cheer leading careers.

For more information on fractures of all kinds please contact Dr. Jeff Bowman at 713-467-8886 or check our website for information of fractures and all foot and ankle problems at

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Foot Problems

Tags: Broken Toe, Sports Injuries, Swelling Toe, Toe Injuries, Toe Pain