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What is turf toe?


If you are an athlete, you've probably heard of the term "turf toe" before. Turf toe gets its name from the artificial turf on which some athletes, including football and soccer players, will play their games.

Turf toe is a sprain to the ligaments around the big toe joint. It may happen when an athlete jams his toe into the ground or bends it backwards. This sprain occurs when an athlete is running and suddenly changes directions, or if someone falls on top of them. Some people think poorly fitting cleats or athletic shoes can play a role in turf toe as well.

Symptoms will depend on the grade of the sprain. When a ligament is just stretched or strained, there may be some pain and tenderness in the ball of the foot or the big toe. If the ligament is partially torn, there will be swelling and possibly significant bruising. If the patient completely tears the ligaments, he can expect all these symptoms, but at a higher level of pain and intensity.

An experienced podiatrist can diagnose turf toe after examining your injury and inspecting an X-ray image of the injured area. The main response to turf toe is staying off your feet. Your doctor will probably tell you to rest, ice your toe, and keep it elevated. He may also tape the toe or even put you in some kind of walking boot. Over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen will mostly likely be recommended as well. More serious cases may require surgery and physical therapy.

If you are suffering from a trauma or injury to your foot or ankle, contact the podiatrists at Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, Arizona to schedule an appointment. Call them today at 623-584-5556 or e-mail [email protected]

Dr. Peyman A. Elison
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Founder and Managing Partner of Fixing Feet Institute