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Question
Posted by: Gwiz | 2005/12/01

Broken Toes

I have two broken toes. I walked on them 2 weeks thingking I was just sprung, After 5 weeks in a cast I want it off. What can I do to start reahbilitation? The bottom and top of my foot are still very sore and feel tight. Any advice?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Gwiz

Your rehabilitation depends,to a large extent, on which toes are broken and what type of fracture it is. If you can afford it, I would suggest you see a podiatrist for more specific strengthening of the foot, ankle and calf, and possibly orthopaedic support until your foot muscles are properly strengthened. This route will speed recovery and help prevent further injury. The podiatrist will be able to help you progressively recover - slowly re-loading the foot.

Another option is to see a sports physiotherapist or biokineticist. They will give you exercises to strengthen your foot and calf much the same as a podiatrist, but without arch supports.

In the meantime: stretch your ankle and the plantar fascia of your foot, as well as the toes, to reduce stiffness. Also, do the following simple toe and foot exercises to increase mobility and start strengthening the foot again.

1) "Toe stars": curl the toes and spread (flex and extend the toes) repetitively 20 times.
2) Towel scrunches: spread a towel on a tiled floor. Put your foot on one short end. Use your toes to pull the towel under your foot without lifting your heel from the floor. Repeat 5 times.
3) Heel lifts: sit in a chair with both feet flat on the ground. Lift your heels, pressing onto the toes (without pain) and slowly slower to the ground, as if it's an effort. Repeat 20 times.
4) Toe taps: sit in a chair with both feet flat on the ground. Tap your foot without lifting the heel for 30-60 seconds and repeat on the other side.
5) Towel inversion and eversion: spread a towel on a tiled floor. Put your foot at one the end of the long side. Pull the towel under your foot without lifting the heel, moving it to the inner side of your foot; i.e. pulling the towel as you twist your foot inwards. Then spread the towel so that you can pull it in the opposite direction- outwards; ie. pulling the towel as you twist your foot outwards. Repeat 10 times in each direction on the injured foot.

Stretches:
1) Sit with your heel up on the chair infront of you. Interlink your fingers and pull the ball of your foot towards you as you push with the foot into your hands. This stretches the plantar fascia of the foot (the arch).
2) Sit with your legs straight in front of you and your heels up against a wall. Pull your toes back towards you away from the wall and then reach for them. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with your knees slightly bent (feel the stretch move lower into the calf and less behind the knee.

I hope this helps!

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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