A dislocation is when the bones in a joint slip out of their normal position. A dislocated toe may happen from a blow or jamming the toe, such as bumping the toe into furniture or during sports.
An X-ray is used diagnose a dislocated toe. The bones may move back into place on their own, or a doctor may gently put the joint back with a quick maneuver called a reduction. In some cases, surgery is needed to repair the joint.
To keep the joint from dislocating again, the injured toe might be taped to the neighboring toe ("buddy taping"). Buddy taping is generally needed for a few weeks. Gentle foot or toe exercises to help reduce stiffness might also be recommended.
With proper treatment, most people who dislocate a toe can gradually return to their normal activities. The toe may feel sore or stiff for a while.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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