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Footnotes / Blog

“Turf Toe” Injuries

Sunday, October 1st, 2017 Elizabeth Anthony

What is Turf Toe?

You may have heard the term “Turf Toe” occuring in the sports world. The term comes from certain types of injuries that occur when playing on turf material. Specifically, it is a sprain from excessive upward bending of the big toe joint. Artificial turf can cause the foot to stick while the foot is bending at the big toe joint, creating an overpowering force that causes an injury to the joint.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of this injury include pain, swelling, and limited ability to move the big toe. Turf toe can be caused by an acute injury, in this case, signs and symptoms will appear instantly. Chronic wear and tear to the big toe joint can also lead to this injury, so symptoms can present more gradually in this scenario.

Diagnosis

A clinical exam will be performed by your doctor to assess the stability and range of motion of the affected big toe joint. The opposite foot may also be evaluated for comparison.

Xrays are occasionally taken if fracture is suspected, but turf toe is usually a soft tissue injury that will not show up on xray.

Treatment

Non-surgical treatment for turf toe is effective a majority of the time. The initial treatment consists of rest, ice, compression and elevation. A stiff soled shoe is also recommended for minor injuries.

  • For more severe injuries, the big toe joint may need to be completely immobilized in a walking boot. The takes pressure off of the joint and allows all ligament and soft tissue tears to heal. Physical therapy may also be necessary to regain stability of the joint once healed.

Surgical

  • Severe tearing or associated fractures of the big toe joint may mean surgery is necessary. The surgical procedure and recovery time would vary depending on the severity of the injury.

 

If you have suffered and injury to your big toe joint and think it might be turf toe, come visit the doctors at Innovative Foot and Ankle. Dr. Kaufman, Dr. Rallatos, Dr. Visperas, Dr. Gonzales and Dr. Anthony would be glad to help. We have 4 offices in the northern New Jersey area which are open for flexible office hours to meet our patient’s needs.