Are You Suffering from Turf Toe?

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You have been experiencing pain at the base of your big toe that seems to be getting worse as time goes on. Sometimes the toe feels very stiff and you have limited movement of the joint. It looks like the toe is swollen too. Do these symptoms sound familiar? If so, you may have a podiatric condition known as Turf Toe. At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, this is a condition that we see in active patients.

Patients who are serious runners or walkers or those whose jobs require them to squat down and get up repeatedly are at risk for this condition because it can be the result of repetitive strain caused by pushing off with your toe. We also see turf toe in sports players—particularly in football and soccer—as an acute injury that can be the result of a big push off, jump or sudden stop on the field or court, which will damage the toe bone beneath the cartilage. Turf toe happens more frequently to players on artificial turf and that’s how it got the name turf toe. Turf toe is also common among basketball players, wrestlers, gymnasts, and dancers. In cases of a direct injury, symptoms will come on suddenly and get worse over the next 24 hours.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you have suffered a sports injury or have noticed the symptoms of turf toe coming on gradually, make an appointment at our Spring Hill or Hudson office in the nature coast area so that our podiatrists, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales and Dr. Alexis Kreplick, can evaluate your toe. Our foot doctors will examine your toes and feet and check for signs of injury. Usually, an x-ray or other imaging studies will be ordered to rule out a broken bone and help confirm the diagnosis.

The treatment for turf toe consists first of rest, ice, compression, and elevation to allow the sprain to heal. The podiatrists may also recommend that you wear less flexible footwear when participating in activities that typically cause turf toe. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary. Contact us to learn more about this condition or to make an appointment today!