Swollen Toe
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Reviewed By:

Kent C Doan, MD

Kent C Doan, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr Doan Graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and completed residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado. He completed additional fellowship training in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. He is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. He also holds an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas City.

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

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About the Symptom

This describes swelling in the toe. It can involve any of the toes, and may be associated with pain.

Possible causes

Generally, Swollen toe can be related to:

  • Hallux valgus

    Hallux valgus, or a bunion, is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe when the big toe pushes against the next toe. Tight shoes, foot stress, and arthritis are common causes. It can lead to deformity.

  • Hair tourniquet

    A hair tourniquet happens when a hair strand wraps around a body part, cutting off circulation. It can damage nerves, skin tissue, and the function of the affected body part. The average age of diagnosis is five months. The average age that finger hair tourniquets occur is 3 weeks old. The average age that toe hair tourniquets occur is 4 months old. When genitals are involved in hair tourniquets, the average age of diagnosis is 2 years old. There may be redness or swelling on a finger, toe or another body part. The area may be tender and cause the baby pain and discomfort.

  • Sickle cell disease

    Sickle cell anemia is a genetic blood disorder characterized by abnormal hemoglobin, leading to distorted red blood cells and various complications.

  • Hyperuricemia

  • Paronychia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Are your toes swollen?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you have joint pain?

  • Do you have any skin problems?

  • Is the affected area red?

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Reviewed By:

Kent C Doan, MD

Kent C Doan, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr Doan Graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and completed residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado. He completed additional fellowship training in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. He is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. He also holds an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas City.

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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