Turf toe describes an injury that occurs to the joint at the base of the big toe where the joint capsule containing the sesamoid bones and ligaments is located.
Turf toe is very common in athletes who participate in field sports like football, baseball, and soccer and is even more common in those who play on artificial turf—hence the name. While turf toe injury can occur on any surface, the rapid running, jumping, and cutting movements on the hard surface of an artificial field make it even more likely that overextension or jamming of your toe will occur.
Treatment for turf toe consists of the following:
- RICE—Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Pain management—take ibuprofen or other over the counter pain medication.
- Immobilization—This can be accomplished by taping the injured toe to the next one and by using a cast boot.
- Crutches—eliminating weight by using crutches may be necessary during the initial healing process.
Turf toe can be minimized by wearing shoes that offer better support to avoid excess bending and force when pushing off. Shoe inserts may also help to stabilize and support the big toe joint.
A turf toe injury needs to be evaluated by a foot specialist to determine the best course of treatment. Since it can take a long time for a turf toe injury to heal properly, athletes should expect to be sidelined for several weeks. Improper healing can result in further complications such as joint stiffness and re injury. A period of follow-up physical therapy can help avoid these complications.
The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.