Kick Turf Toe to the Curb
Sprains of the main joint of the big toe became more frequent among athletes and in sports-related activities after the invention of Astroturf. If you’ve developed pain in your big toe during physical activity, you may have hyper-extended your toe. Contact the Aadvanced Foot Care Associates of New York for relief. We’ll have you back on your feet and out on the field in no time.
What is Turf Toe?
Put simply, it is a ligament sprain of the joint in the big toe. Although associated with Astroturf, this injury occurs in a wide range of sports and activities. While walking and running, the big toe joint propels forward movement. While “pushing off” the toe may stay flat on the ground and won’t lift to push off while the rest of the foot continues in a forward movement. Repetitive injury such as this can result in a sprain.
This injury occurs suddenly and most commonly on surfaces harder than grass. Individuals are more susceptible to this ligament sprain while wearing flexible shoes that let the toe bend too far forward.
What Are The Symptoms?
If caused by sudden forceful motion, the injury can occur with what feels like a “pop.” Symptoms of pain, swelling, redness and limited range of motion may develop more slowly. When left untreated the symptoms become more severe and complex.
How is it Treated?
After examination and comparing the injured toe to the unaffected toe, your podiatrist will likely take an x-ray. In certain circumstances, other imaging tests such as bone scans, CT scans, or MRI’s will be needed.
For two to three weeks, treatment for turf toe is a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This basic treatment requires complete immobilization, which allows ample healing time, rest, and protection from further harm.
The big toe may be taped to the toe next to it. This relieves the amount of pressure and stress placed on the injury. Other forms of immobilizing the foot include a cast or walking boot. It is advisable to use crutches to ensure complete relief of pressure. In severe cases, the ligaments may require surgical repair.
Medication such as ibuprofen will help to relieve pain and reduce the amount of inflammation. After the joint has healed, full range of motion needs to be re-established. Strength and conditioning of the ligaments may require physical therapy.
The podiatrists at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates are experts in sports medicine. We will help you to correct and prevent turf toe or any other problems affecting your gait or performance during physical activity. If you encounter injury, call one of our three offices in Rego Park, Plainview, or Flushing, NY. You may also make an appointment online.