Well, the only way to tell for sure is by X-ray. That said, many health care providers won't bother to X-ray a pinky toe
- Grossly deformed (like, sticking out at an unnatural angle)
- Cold and tingly
- Gray or pale looking
Those three signs could be symptoms of a reduced blood supply to the toe, which can lead to permanent damage.
If the nail has come off or has been loosened so badly that you think it might come off, then you should see a medical professional. You don't want that to get infected.
Most times, though, the pinky toe heals up just fine. If it's not grossly deformed, you may splint it by putting a bit of padding (cotton balls work nicely) between the pinky and ring toes, and then firmly taping the two together. Don't tape them so tightly you cut off the blood supply! Keep an eye on the toe for any sores that may develop, and call your doctor or go to urgent care if any one symptom (pain, swelling, burning, tingling) gets worse instead of better after about the third day.
Keep the foot elevated and apply ice, if desired. This will help reduce swelling and inflammation.
Sorry to hear about your toe. Fractured toes are always so painful!
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