Turf Toe Injury

Although it can happen to anyone, turf toe is often associated with athletes who compete on grass surfaces. The injury can occur on grass or flat surfaces, during various sports and activities, and when using flexible or rigid footwear. The injury affects the joint of the big toe, which due to violent or excessive bending of the big toe leads to a problem called turf toe. The soft tissues and ligaments of the big toe are stretched or torn by this movement (dislocation). Otherwise, the bones are connected by tissues called ligaments.

A toe injury occurs when the big toe is flattened on the ground while bent at a 90 degree angle. The heel is usually raised above the ground, similar to a sprinter. The big toe can hyperextend (bend more than it should) if too much stress occurs. Beyond the toe’s normal range of motion, it can strain or tear the ligaments, tendons, and soft tissues of the joint. Turf toe can be said to be an injury to the big toe joint caused by strained or torn ligaments, tendons and soft tissues.

A toe injury is most often manifested as pain and limited joint mobility at the base of one big toe. If the condition is caused by repetitive damage, symptoms appear gradually and worsen over time. If the damage was caused by a quick, violent movement, it can hurt immediately and get worse within a day. Sometimes a “pop” can be heard when damage occurs. Movement of the toes is usually limited because the entire joint is affected.

Soccer players and other athletes who often run or jump often suffer from it. With rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers, a tingling finger usually gets better. Surgery may be required for serious turf toe injuries.

Assessing the cause of the damage and implementing preventive measures should be one of the goals of treatment. Wearing shoes with stronger support can help avoid and prevent excessive bending of the toe joints and the application of excessive stress during push-off. Additionally, it may be extremely helpful to consider using custom inserts that your doctor or physical therapist may prescribe. It also requires working with a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist to improve gait problems that could put you at risk of injury and to devise training methods that will reduce your risk of injury.