- A Turf toe is an injury to the great toe joint. It occurs when the hallux is excessively dorsiflexed such as may occur when an athlete cuts hard on artificial turf.
- The joint capsule is injured or in some instances completely torn.
- This leads to pain and swelling in the toe.
- Pain at the base of the great toe after an acute injury.
- Commonly seen in contact sports such as football, soccer, and rugby as well as gymnastics and dance.
- Noticeable swelling of the great toe.
- Inability to run on the foot.
Tests and Imaging
- Plain x-rays should be reviewed to rule out other injuries involving great toe (x-rays in turf toe injuries are usually negative).
- A stress x-ray or fluoroscopy may demonstrate excessive movement (instability) of the great toe joint when the great toe joint is stressed.
- An MRI will reveal evidence of the soft-tissue (capsular) injury.
- Advise ice application and elevation to help decrease the swelling and allow for healing.
- Advise rest and activity modification.
- Podiatry for cam walker or strapping/splinting to limit joint motion and stabilise injury.
- Foot and ankle surgeon for surgical approach if turf toe injures do not adequately recover.