Toe Turf is a general term used to describe ligament sprains around the big toe joint. Although generally associated with soccer players who play on artificial grass, this affects athletes in other sports including soccer, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and dancing. This is a condition caused by a big toe jam or repeatedly forcing the thumb like running and jumping.
Symptoms of Turf Toe
The most common symptoms of toes include pain, swelling, and joint movement limited to the base of big toe. These symptoms develop slowly and gradually get worse over time if caused by repeated injuries. If it is caused by sudden involuntary movements, the injury can immediately hurt and worsen within 24 hours. Sometimes when an injury occurs, “pop” can be felt. Usually the entire joint is involved, and toe movements are limited.
Causes Turf Toe
The toe turf is a sprain on the ligaments around the big toe joint, which functions primarily as a hinge to allow for up and down movements. Right behind the big toe in the ball of your foot are two nut-shaped bones that are embedded in the tendons that move your big toe called the sesamoid. These bones work like a pulley for tendons and provide leverage when you walk or run. They also absorb the burden that presses the ball on the foot.
When you walk or run, you start each next step by raising your heels and letting your weight go up to your feet. At some point you push yourself forward by “pushing” your big toe and letting your weight shift to the other leg. If the toes for some reason remain flat on the ground and do not lift to push, you risk suddenly injuring the area around the joint. Or if you are overcome or fall forward and your toes remain flat, the effect is the same as if you sit and bend your big toes with your hands outside the normal range, causing toe hypertension. The hyperextension, repeating over time or with sufficient sudden strength, can cause a sprain in the ligaments that surround the joint.
Usually with toes, sudden injury. This is most often seen in athletes who play on artificial surfaces, which are harder than grass surfaces and that tend to stick to the cleats. This can also occur on the surface of the grass, especially if the shoes used do not provide adequate support for the feet. Often injuries occur in athletes wearing flexible soccer-style shoes that let the legs bend too far ahead.
Diagnosis of Turf Toe
Diagnosis of turf toe is through physical examination, history, x-ray to exclude any fracture, CT-scan or MRI.
Turf Toe Treatments
Turf toe conservative treatments are include REST, medications, buddy splints, injection for turf toe, physiotherapy for turf toe.
For severe cases, surgery may be recommended if all the conservative treatments fail.