What is turf toe?

Q: What is turf toe?
A: Turf toe is a sprain of the great toe joint, occurring when the joint over-extends. It is a common football injury with a high prevalence on artificial turf, thus providing the name of the condition. It is not exclusive to football, however.

Turf toe can occur anytime the joint is already extended. A force pushing you backwards will jolt the joint into suddenly hyperextending. Over time this one-time injury can cause breakdown of the joint. The motion in this joint will become limited and painful. A spur, known as a dorsal bunion, often forms on the top of the metatarsal bone. This becomes arthritis, further restricts the joint and causes additional pain.

Turf toe is progressive and gets worse with time and continued activity. The sooner it is treatment, the faster it will improve and have the pain controlled. If you are concerned that you have turf toe, or any other foot injury from sports, visit your podiatrist for immediate treatment.