Turf toe is the common term used to describe a ligament sprain around the big toe joint. It is a painful condition that frequently occurs in sports (the term originates from football players who practice on artificial turf). Our podiatrists in West Milford, NJ, explain more below.
What is Turf Toe?
Turf toe is a sprain of the ligament joints surrounding the big toe, which facilitates up and down motions. Behind the big toe joint, there are two small, round bones (called sesamoids) in the tendon that move your big toe and function as a pulley for the tendon. Damage caused by turf toe impairs the tendon’s ability to absorb weight from the ball of the foot and limits leverage when running or walking.
Causes & Symptoms of Turf Toe
Turf toe is caused by jamming the big toe or repeatedly pushing off the big toe with force (such as running or jumping). The condition mainly affects athletes who play soccer, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and dance. The symptoms include:
- Pain in the big toe
- A “pop” noise or sensation when the injury occurs
- Reduced joint movement
This condition’s symptoms will worsen over time without treatment or if you continue to play sports without healing the ligament first.
At-home treatments include RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For mild cases, these approaches will usually resolve the pain and swelling while the ligament heals. In moderate cases, you may need crutches or a walking boot while the injury heals.
In the most severe cases, surgery may be needed to fix broken bones in the foot, a torn ligament, or joint damage. While surgery is a last resort, sometimes it is necessary to get the best outcome and get back on your feet!
Contact Our Podiatrists in West Milford, NJ, To Learn More Today!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about hammertoes and other topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact Wayne Foot & Ankle Center, with a convenient podiatry office in West Milford, NJ, by calling 973.524.7013 or by clicking here.