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Turf Toe 101

Turf toe is a sports injury that typically occurs in the joint of your big toe.  It happens when the big toe joint is planted quickly on a hard surface and hyper-extended on push-off.  This hyper-extension causes the joint to jam.  If you ignore the problem, the joint can become arthritic, which will result in constant pain and swelling with activity.

Turf Toe 101

Right after you suffer from this injury you should begin RICE therapy. RICE means Rest and Ice the toe, apply Compression and Elevate to reduce swelling. After this, you need to call your podiatrist so that you don’t end up with any long-term damage to your joint. Full evaluation of the big toe joint will be performed to determine whether any ligaments have been torn or if the capsule of soft tissue surrounding joint has been damaged. You may even need an MRI to evaluate the extensiveness of the injury.

Splinting may be done initially, but the most important part of recovering from the injury is prevention.  Custom orthotics and discussing the right shoes for you will help keep your foot stabilized, which will prevent any extra pressure to the big toe joint.  This will ultimately decrease the risk of re-injury.

If you are showing symptoms of turf toe or have sustained an injury to the big toe previously without seeking medical attention, don’t hesitate to call your podiatrist. They will have the treatment available to keep you in your favorite sports without the pain of turf toe.

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