Turf toe is a sprain of the main joint of the big toe. It occurs when the big toe joint is
hyperextended (bent too far). Although turf toe is a common sports injury, the name was
originally associated with football and other sports played on artificial turf. If you suspect turf
toe consult with our Atlanta podiatrist. Injuries that are addressed early generally heal well. We
have experience treating all conditions of the foot and ankle, including turf toe.
Symptoms of turf toe
Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty bending or moving the toe
- Onset may be sudden or gradual
We have experience diagnosing turf toe
During your appointment our Atlanta podiatrist will want to learn about your medical history,
including any history of foot problems, sports activities, and the circumstances of your injury.
The doctor will perform an examination of your foot noting any patterns of swelling or bruising.
The doctor will also compare your feet and observe range of motion in the affected toe. In some
cases, imaging may be required. Severity of turf toe is measured in grades from one to three with
three being most severe.
Treatment of turf toe
Grade 1 turf toe can be effectively treated with an over the counter pain reliever, such as Advil.
RICE is also recommended – that is rest, ice, compression and elevation. Our Atlanta podiatrist
may also advise taping the toe to restrict movement as it heals. You can expect to continue
normal activities with modifications. Modifications include wearing less flexible shoes or
wearing inserts that provide more stability to the joint.
Grade 2 turf toe is more severe and will likely require a walking boot to immobilize the toe. As
with grade 1 injuries, treatment will include RICE and non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory
medication to manage pain. You can expect to return to regular activities within two weeks.
Grade 3 turf toe is most severe and may require a cast in addition to several weeks’ recovery
time. As healing progresses, treatment options indicated for grades 1 and 2 will be employed.
Physical therapy is an important part of the ongoing healing progress. You can expect to return
to normal activities as you make progress with physical therapy exercises.
In rare cases, surgery is indicated. Our Atlanta podiatrist can explain available options and work
with you to decide which one is right for you.
Turf toe is treated most successfully when treated early. If you suspect turf toe, reduce or
suspend activities that aggravate the condition. Give us a call, too. We are here to diagnose or
rule out turf toe so you know exactly what is going on and what you can do to feel better fast.