Turf toe is not a term you want to use when talking to a head football coach about his star running back or the ballerina before her diva debut. “. Big toe injuries, known as turf toe, result from the hyperextension of the big toe joint as the heel is raised off the ground. An external force is placed on the big toe, and the soft tissue structures that support the big toe on the top are torn or ruptured.Although it’s commonly associated with football players who play on artificial turf, it affects athletes in other sports including soccer, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and dance. It’s a condition that’s caused by jamming the big toe or repeatedly pushing off the big toe forcefully as in running and jumping
The most common symptoms of turf toe include pain, swelling, and limited joint movement at the base of one big toe. The symptoms develop slowly and gradually get worse over time if it’s caused by repetitive injury. If it’s caused by a sudden forceful motion, the injury can be painful immediately and worsen within 24 hours.There is often a sudden acute onset of pain during a push-off phase of running, and occasionally when the injury occurs, a “pop” can be felt. Usually the entire joint is involved, and toe movement is limited. Usually, the pain is not enough to keep the athlete from physical activities or finishing a game. This causes further injury to the big toe and can dramatically increase the healing time required.
To diagnose turf toe, your podiatrist will ask you to explain as much as you can about how you injured your foot and may ask you about your occupation, your participation in sports, the type of shoes you wear, and your history of foot problems. The podiatrist will then examine your foot, noting the pattern and location of any swelling and comparing the injured foot to the uninjured one. The podiatrist will likely ask for an X-ray to rule out any other damage or fracture. In certain circumstances, the podiatrist may ask for other imaging tests such as a bone scan, CT scan, or MRI. The diagnosis will then be made based on the results of the physical examination and imaging tests.
Treatment includes rest, icing, compression, and equipment modification or change. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used for relief of minor pain as well as to decrease the inflammation of the injury. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications
Are you an athlete with foot pain? If so, contact Dr. Weinert’s office in Troy at 248-362-3338 or his Warren office at 586-751-3338. You can also get more information on his website at www.stopfeetpainfast.com, where you can also request a copy of his FREE book Stop Feet Pain Fast.