Turf Toe


Turf toe is a term used to describe a sprain of the big toe joint. This sprain results from excessive upward bending of the big toe joint. Turf toe is most commonly found among athletes.

What causes Turf Toe?

Turf toe is an injury that results from an over extension of the big toe joint. It can be caused by a direct injury or from repetitive actions or movements. If turf toe is a result of a direct injury, it is likely that the bone underneath the cartilage is damaged. Symptoms will come on suddenly and progress over a 24-hour period. If turf toe is a result of repetitive actions or motions, the symptoms will progress slowly and gradually worsen.

Turf toe is commonly a result of the following activities:

  • Jamming of the toe
  • Repetitive injury when pushing off for running or jumping

Those who participate in the following are most likely to experience turf toe:

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Wrestling
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance

How do I know if I have Turf Toe?

What are the symptoms of Turf Toe?

Pain, swelling, and limited joint movements are the most common symptoms of turf toe. It is possible for turf toe to occur over a longer period of time when repetitive actions cause the injury. If a direct injury is the cause of the pain, it will usually come on suddenly and get worse over a 24-hour period.

How is Turf Toe diagnosed?

The physician will conduct a physical examination of the foot combined with x-rays to rule out broken bones. It is possible that other types of imaging may be used as well.

What can I do from home for Turf Toe?

What can I do to prevent Turf Toe?

Limiting activities that over extend the big toe joints is the best way to prevent turf toe

What treatments can I do from home for Turf Toe?

There are several treatments available for relief of turf toe , including:

  • RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) of the injured area.
  • Wear footwear that is sturdy and doesn’t flex easily.
  • Avoid activities in which you extend your big toe joint excessively or repeatedly

When should I see a doctor for Turf Toe?

When should I see a doctor for Turf Toe?

You should see your physician if you experience pain or swelling of the big toe joint, have difficulty standing on your toes, or experience pain when extension of the big toe is occurring.

Treatments your doctor may recommend for Turf Toe

If the treatments listed in the previous section don’t work, the physician may suggest surgery to repair damaged ligaments or the joint capsule of the big toe.