Have you ever heard of turf toe? It’s a sprain of the big toe joint that commonly occurs from sports activities. It’s common among football and soccer players who play on artificial turf, but it’s also often noticed in wrestlers, gymnasts, dancers, and others.
Turf toe is usually caused in one of two ways: either the big toe is jammed suddenly, or repetitive injury occurs when running or jumping. Either way, the joint of the big toe is bent upward excessively and the ligaments around the joint become irritated, inflamed, or even torn. Cleats are more likely to stick, and the toe is more likely to become injured when playing on artificial turf, which is much less forgiving than real grass. Doctors also notice turf toe more often in athletes who play in flexible styles of shoes that let the foot bend too far forward. Firmer footwear is recommended for most athletic activities.
Keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of turf toe in any athletes in your home. These can include pain, swelling, and limited joint movement. When turf toe is the result of a repetitive stress injury, these symptoms will typically begin slowly. At first they will be worse during activity and improve with rest, but eventually, they will be non-stop. If a direct injury is the cause, the signs and symptoms will probably begin suddenly and get worse fairly quickly.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one has developed a case of turf toe, you should visit the podiatrist as soon as possible for examination and diagnosis. If your foot doctor confirms your suspicion, he or she will have numerous treatment options available, including:
● RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
● prescription and over-the-counter medication for pain and inflammation
● steroid injections
● immobilization with a boot or cast
● new footwear
● surgery, but only in extreme cases
With decades of specialized training and experience, Dr. James M. McKee is able to treat turf toe and any other issues related to the health and well-being of your family’s feet, ankles, and lower legs. Call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 or click here to schedule a convenient appointment in our comfortable office on Solomons Island Road in Annapolis, MD.