Turf Toe Woes

Turf toe is a specific injury of the great toe joint of the foot. It can run the gamut from mild sprain to complete dislocation of the joint. The injury got its name from its increase in occurrence with athletic play on artificial turf surfaces. The usual mechanism for this injury occurs when the toe rapidly stops on the ground and the rest of the foot and body keeps moving forward causing a hyperextension of the big toe joint. This results in injury to the ligaments that connect the great toe bones to the first metatarsal bone. Pain and swelling and inability to move the toe are the typical symptoms. Diagnosis is usually made with the history of injury. Clinical findings are typical of soft tissue injuries including swelling and bruising. X-rays are needed to rule out fractures or dislocations. Mild to moderate great toe joint injuries can be treated with initial rest, ice and elevation using a stiff soled shoe for walking. Taping the toe to restrict bending can be helpful. Return to activities can be attempted after 2-4 weeks as symptoms and swelling improve. More severe injuries may require immobilization in a walking boot initially for 4-6 weeks. Dislocations of the great toe joint need to be reduced under anesthesia. If closed reduction is unsuccessful, Surgical reduction may be needed. Long term problems after great toe joint injury are not common, provided there is adequate recovery before return to activity. Post traumatic arthritis of the great toe joint is an occasional long term complication of turf toe injuries. Foot orthotics with a modification to restrict great toe motion is helpful at controlling symptoms in people with chronic pain and stiffness of the great toe joint after injury. If you or anyone you know have a problem with the big toe joint, get in to see me for an evaluation. We’ll keep your toes tapping!

Author
Paul Betschart, DPM Dr. Betschart has over 26 years of experience in treating patients of all ages with all kinds of foot and ankle conditions. His mission is to provide you with helpful information about foot and ankle issues and the latest developments in healthcare.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The secret to children's foot health!

Podiatrists are experts in treating children and teens. Podiatrists keep America’s kids active by keeping them on their feet and in the game. Children’s feet are still developing, and they are susceptible to a variety of conditions as they grow.

Awakened by a horse in bed!

Charley horse that is! The common term for a muscle cramp usually in the calf muscle. This post explains the basics of night time leg cramps

A Lifetime of Steps

Over your lifetime, your feet will carry you more than 216 million steps, or more than 100,000 miles. That’s a lot of time spent on your feet and, as you age, it becomes more important than ever to take good care of them.

Hit The Bricks!

Spring has sprung. This is the time that many people start or resume their running work outs. The feet are a runners most prized possessions so it is important to pay attention to them to keep them healthy.

Lumpy Bumpy Foot

There are many conditions that can cause a lump or bump on the foot. Some examples are bone spurs, ganglion cysts, bunions, abscess and various tumors. One such “tumor” is the plantar fibroma. These are benign growths in the substance of the plantar fascia