Dec 14, 2018


Announcer: Health Hacks with Dr. Troy Madsen on The Scope.

Interviewer: What is today's health hack?

Dr. Madsen: Today's health hack is a trick to avoid a trip to the ER for a broken toe. So let's say you're walking around the house, you don't have shoes on, you hit a corner of the bed with your foot, and you immediately have pain in one of your toes. And you're thinking to yourself, "Wow, my toe hurts like crazy. I wonder if it's broken."

So your first thought is, "I need to go to the ER or an urgent care and get an x-ray." If you were to come to the ER or an urgent care and get an x-ray and if your toe were broken, we would do a simple thing. We would tape it to the toe next to it and we would send you home.

So here's your health hack. If you do hit your toe hard, you wonder if it's broken, just tape it to the toe next to it. If it's broken or if it's sprained, the treatment is the same. As long as it's aligned okay, it's moving okay, as long as the blood is profusing okay, it looks nice and pink, we're going to tape it, we're going to call it good, tell you to give it a few weeks. It should feel better. It should heal up just fine.

Interviewer: And if it is having some of those other issues, that's when you should go to the ER.

Dr. Madsen: Yes. If you look at your toe and it's kind of twisted weird or you're just not able to move it right, that's a sign that maybe it's a more serious fracture, but that's pretty rare. Most cases of fractures in the toe, we're just going to tape it to the toe next to it and give it time to heal up.

Announcer: For more health hacks, check out produced by University of Utah Health.

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