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Buddy Tape Your Toe Fracture!

A 13 year old dancer was referred to me by Urgent Care for a displaced 5th toe fracture. She was running downhill while barefoot, and hit her toe on a sprinkler (n.b. I’m a huge proponent of kids running around barefoot. As a kid, not a summer day went by without me washing grass stains off my feet). Fortunately the patient saw me within a few days of the injury.

I was able to close reduce the fracture by simply taping the 4th and 5th toes together. We took x-rays at her initial visit to verify adequate reduction. She was able to walk in a stiff soled shoe until her follow up visit 2 weeks later. Activity modifications were discussed, which included no dancing for 4 weeks.

The patient was remarkably compliant, and buddy taped her toes every day!!! Her 2 week follow up x-rays showed evidence of excellent interval healing and alignment of the 5th toe. She can start dance again (without restrictions) in 2 weeks.

DIY: For anyone who suspects that they have broken their toe, I highly recommend buddy taping. This will stabilize the fracture and ensure that it heals in proper alignment.

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