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:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • 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.

Dr. Fui Dawson
Podiatrist in Marietta, GA, Dr. Fui Dawson, is a Harvard trained Foot & Ankle Specialist treating patients in Marietta, GA and in the surrounding communities. Our clinic, Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia, offers treatment for all foot and ankle conditions.
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