Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


The Trials and Tribulations of Turf Toe

turf toe symptoms and causesTurf toe gets its name because it happens a lot with sports played on turf such as football or soccer, but the injury can also occur to a dancer. It simply refers to an injury that involves damage to the soft tissue surrounding the big toe joint. This injury occurs as a result of excessive bending of the toe beyond its normal range of motion. It is a sprain of the ligaments surrounding the big toe joints.

Your ability to walk and run depends on you being able to raise your heel, flex through the ball of the foot, push off of the big toe in order to shift your weight to the opposite foot and take another step. If an athlete’s foot gets jammed into the ground with considerable force and the big toe hyper extends backward, the injury occurs. It normally is a sudden injury, but it can occur over time.

Pain is sudden and intense, similar to a sprained ankle. The toe may then become more rigid, less flexible and develop arthritis. When the toe is more rigid, the likelihood of re-injury is greater. Turf toe has to be given sufficient time to heal. Failure to do so may result in chronic injury, and the player may never fully recover to pre-injury capabilities.

Causes of turf toe include:

  • Running, jumping and fast lateral movement on hard ground.
  • Not wearing the correct cleats for your sport.
  • Shoes with too much flexibility in the forefoot.

Turf toe is normally treated with:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  •  Anti-inflammatory medications

Allowing ample time to heal is critical, and sometimes it may be required to wear stiff soled footwear in order to prevent over flexing the joint. Some athletes may tape their toes or have a plate in their shoe that prevents hyper-flexion and the possibility of injury during their games.

The amount of pain may vary so it might not be your best indicator of whether you need treatment. Play it smart and seek treatment for any injury you suspect might be turf toe. This type of injury can worsen and cause a chronic problem. Call Dallas Podiatry Works for help. Drs. Brook , Northcutt, Arroyo and Baca are the sports injury experts you need. Call the Dallas office at (972) 566-7474 or Plano at (972) 943-3323 and put yourself in the hands of a specialist who can minimize your down time.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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Join the 50,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
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