Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Turf toe is a common type of injury that affects the foot, specifically the joint in the thumb area. Continuous extension of the big toe can cause sprains of the ligaments around the joint. These injuries are often the result of sporting activities, such as football and basketball.

According to a report in the journal Clinics in Sports Medicine 2015, most of the cases turf toe It is mild and does not require any surgical procedures. However, in some more severe cases, surgery may be required.

Summarized from various sources, let’s get to know turf toe in more detail through the explanation below.

1. What is turf toe?

Turf Toe: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentillustration of playing soccer (pexels.com/Pixabay)

Turf toe related to joint sprains metatarsophalangeal (MTP), the part where the metatarsal bones of the foot meet the proximal phalanges of the toes. It affects the tissue that connects the toes to the rest of the foot. This condition occurs when a person bends the big toe or applies excessive pressure.

Turf toe vulnerable to affect someone who often does physical activity, including football and basketball players, martial arts athletes, and ballet dancers. Studies in journals Operative Techniques in Sports Medicine 2017 explained, as many as 45 percent of players National Football League (NFL) has had an injury turf toe and 80 percent of this is due to the synthetic turf surfaces used in soccer fields.

2. Symptoms

Turf Toe: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentillustration of leg injury during exercise (pexels.com/Kindel Media)

Reported WebMD, common symptoms turf toe are swelling, pain, and limited joint movement at the base of the big toe. Meanwhile, if the injury is caused by a sudden forced movement, then the pain can be felt immediately and worsen within 24 hours.

It is also important to understand that the symptoms turf toe It develops slowly and may worsen with repeated injury. In addition, the individual concerned may hear a pop-like sound when experiencing turf toe.

Also Read: Whiplash Injury: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

3. Cause

Turf Toe: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentballet dancing illustration (pexels.com/Anna Shvets)

Some common causes turf toe including:

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  • Play sports that involve changing direction and stopping.
  • Wear high heels.
  • Wearing the wrong footwear when exercising.
  • Walk by placing excessive pressure on the big toe and the surrounding area.
  • Doing activities that involve putting extra weight on the big toe (especially for long periods of time).

Sudden, vigorous movements can trigger turf toe immediately. However, in some cases the repetition of these movements can increase the risk of injury.

4. Diagnosis

Turf Toe: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentillustration of foot injury diagnosis by doctor (pexels.com/Tima Miroshnichenko)

Doctors need to know the chronology of events that led to the injury in order to diagnose turf toe. Information that doctors need regarding a diagnosis include:

  • Type of patient work.
  • Frequent sports.
  • Choice of footwear used when doing physical activity.
  • History of any possible foot injury.

In addition, the doctor may perform a physical examination using imaging tests (X-rays) of the legs. These tests are performed to rule out other conditions, such as fractures, arthritis, or other trauma to the bones.

5. Care

Turf Toe: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatmentleg compress illustration (pexels.com/Anete Lusina)

The stage of treatment is important to be done immediately so that swelling and inflammation in the toe joints can be controlled. Doctors may recommend RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, andelevation) with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

RICE treatments include:

  • rest: Rest to stop activities that could make the injury worse.
  • Ice: Apply a cold compress or ice to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Compression: Cover the foot with a bandage to prevent the injury from getting worse and too much movement.
  • Elevation: Lie down with your feet elevated above your heart to help manage swelling.

Surgery is rarely recommended by doctors. However, referring to a report in British Medical Bulletinexplained that if an individual develops a bone spur, then a surgical procedure may be performed to remove it.

To return the condition to its normal state, the duration varies depending on the extent of the injury. Some have recovered in a few days, some can take months. Thus, in order to avoid turf toes, One of them is to consider the footwear used and be careful when doing physical activities.

Also Read: Anterior Knee Ligament Injury: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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