What is Turf Toe?
The term "Turf Toe" is used to describe the injury suffered when the toe is overextended or bent upward. When the toe is bent upward like this, it causes the ligaments located underneath the toe to become stretched out or possibly torn. Turf toe is a very common injury suffered in sports that are played on artificial surfaces, such as football or soccer. It is difficult at times to speed up the recovery process with turf toe, due to this part of the body being used with everyday walking.
Medical Definition of Turf Toe
Turf toe is a sprain of the first metatarsophalangeal joint that most commonly occurs with hyperextension but can occur with any forced range of motion. The term turf toe was given to this injury because the incidence of these injuries increased with the use of artificial turf on athletic playing fields. Turf toe injuries can have significant morbidity, and some studies reflect more missed playing time with turf toe than with an ankle sprain.
- First Metatarsophalangeal Joint Sprain
What are the symptoms of Turf Toe?
- Swelling, tenderness, and limited motion of the first MP joint.
- Grade 1 Sprain is a stretch injury of the capsule; minimal symptoms
- Grade 2 Sprain is a partial tear of the plantar ligamentous; minimal swelling and limited range of motion.
- Grade 3 Sprain is a complete tear of the plantar ligamentous; swelling, bruising, and limited ROM.
- Broken Toe
- Metatarsal Fracture
Treatment of Turf Toe
- Initial treatment should consist of the R.I.C.E. treatment methods.
- Early range of motion is started if the symptoms allow for it.
- With Grade 3 injury, a 4-6 week period of rest is needed.
- Proper usage of NSAID’s to help alleviate pain and inflammation.
Greene W.B. (Ed). (2001). Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care.Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (516-517)