Jennifer Aniston’s Toe Trauma

While those interested in pop culture news may still be wondering when Jennifer Aniston’s wedding is to occur, the actress did share an interesting story about her fiancé. Jennifer revealed to reporters this past week that she is currently experiencing some foot pain from a fracture in one of the bones of her toe. She related that the injury occurred when her fiancé accidentally stepped on her foot!

The bones that make up the toes are called phalanges. The big toe, or hallux has two phalanges and the four smaller toes have three phalanges each. Fractures of the toe bones are fairly common. When a heavy weight drops on the toe causing fracture, as in Jennifer’s case of someone stepping on your foot, this is called a crush injury. The toe will typically become swollen and reddened in color following the trauma. Changes in the toenail may also be noted in crush injuries. The nail often darkens to a blue-black color as a small area of bleeding, or subungual hematoma, forms under the nail. While the nail may be kept in place to help splint the toe bone in most cases, the hematoma should be drained by your doctor. Drainage needs to be performed in a relatively short period of time following the injury to remove the potential source of infection.

Toe fractures are also commonly called “bed post” or “night walkers’” fractures due to their common occurrence after someone stubs their toe when getting out of bed in the dark. Even if the toe is displaced in addition to the fracture, these injuries typically heal without the need for surgery. Both Jennifer’s direct blow and the “bed post” toe fractures are treated similarly. Any dislocation of the toe or displacement of bone fragments can typically be physically reduced by your podiatrist. If the toe heals in a non-reduced, non-anatomic position, the fragments will fuse in an abnormal position resulting in toe deformity. The affected toe is splinted after reduction to maintain correct position by taping the toe to the adjacent toe, or “buddy taping”. Motion is reduced by placing gauze or another soft material on the side of the toe. Protection during weight bearing may be provided with the use of a stiff soled shoe, cast with a toe plate or in a walking boot depending on what is deemed most appropriate for the patient. If surgery is needed, it is more commonly for fractures that have affected the hallux. Fracture fragments that affect the motion of any joint can cause painful sequelae. More motion is required in the hallux compared to the four smaller toes, causing more notable pain with ambulation when there is any abnormality of joint surfaces. Hopefully Jennifer was able to have her affected toe taped by her podiatrist and can take a break from high heels for a while as healing occurs!

Please visit for more tips for healthier and happier feet or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

Columbus Podiatry & Surgery has opened a new location in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia