Surgery or no surgery for toe fracture

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been playing with a fractured pinky toe. Rodgers has been actively seeking medical opinions on how to proceed to continue the season after sustaining this injury. With the Packer’s bye week coming up, surgery became an option for Rodgers to repair the fractured toe and not miss any games. Rodgers has been playing on the broken toe for the past 3 games. With an additional week of rest this week, the decision has to be made to continue resting and letting the fracture heal on its own.

Fractures of the toes are usually caused by direct trauma to the foot. Fractures are diagnosed with an x-ray and sometimes a CT scan is used to better visualize fracture fragments or to access healing. There is a common misconception that “if you can walk on it, it’s not broken”. This is not always the case, if a fracture occurs but there is no change in deformity of the foot then the fracture site should heal with rest and immobilization. If a fracture site does not heal, then surgery may be required to realign the bones.

Treatment of toe fractures includes rest, splinting, rigid shoes, buddy taping and possible surgery. Fractures usually take anywhere between 4-6 weeks to heal. Splinting and rigid shoes help to keep the toe immobile and buddy taping can also augment this. If the fracture is displaced or not healing correctly then surgery may be necessary which may include fixation such as pins.

It looks like Aaron Rodgers seems to decide to continue with the non surgical route. Given the extra week of rest hopefully the toe should continue to heal on track and not provide further discomfort. The whole team at Brucato Foot and Ankle Surgery wishes him a speedy recovery

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Clifton Ringwood