Possible broken big toe

I dropped something (a bag of groceries that was probably around 10 to 15 pounds) on my right big toe the other day and it caused me severe pain for several minutes afterwards. I didn't have my shoes on at the time, just socks. The pain let up a bit after that but it was still constant for a couple hours or so. Then it only hurt when I tried to walk on it. I put ice on it shortly after it happened and then I laid down and elevated my leg for the rest of the night (Saturday). I tried resting it most of the day yesterday. Today I had to work so I had to walk on it (with a limp) some and I'm wearing my work shoes. I only feel a small amount of pain from the shoe pressing down on my toe a little bit. If I put full pressure on the toe while walking it hurts a good deal. Not severe, but enough where I have to limp.

So, with that background info out the way, my question is, is there a way to get a good indication of whether my toe is actually broken or not? It's quite bruised on the top of the toe just below the nail and then part of my toenail is slightly bruised also. The bruise runs the entire width of my toe (only on the top of the toe) and then goes up the toe about a half inch or so, I guess. Maybe a little less than that.

If it is broken, should I just go ahead and let it heal. I've read that there's not much you can do about it, but I don't want to develop an infection or get gangrene or something. Is that much of a concern?

Should I tape it to the toe next to it? Does that really make any difference? I don't want to brush this off like it's nothing, but I don't want to go to the doctor if it isn't necessary, either.

One more question. Is there anything that I can do to help cushion my toe while I'm wearing shoes? I imagine there probably is such a thing but I'm not aware of what products might be available for that.

Posted By Eric on February 20, 2006 at 14:59:53:

Full-length viscoelastic insoles incorporating areas of softer density in the heel and metatarsal region. Raised metatarsal pad aids in desired realignment of metatarsal heads.

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