Turf toe is a sprain of the base of the big toe, where the big toe meets the foot. It is usually a hyperextension sprain of the first metatarsophalangeal joint. A sprain is stretching or tearing of the ligaments that support a toe. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to each other. The injury is called turf toe because it often occurs in football and soccer players when playing on artificial turf.
—to determine if a ligament has torn completely (rarely needed)
Rest—Do not try to run or play sports until you can walk without pain. Do not return to your sport until you can run, jump, and push off from your injured foot without pain.
Ice—Apply ice or cold pack to your toe for 15 to 20 minutes, 4 times a day for 2 to 3 days or until the pain goes away. Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel. Do not apply ice directly to your skin.
Compression—Wrap an elastic compression bandage around your big toe. It is important not to cut off blood circulation to your toe or any body part when using such wraps, do not make them very tight. Put several wraps around the big toe and then include the rest of the forefoot within the bandage. This will limit swelling and support your toe.
Elevation—Keep the injured foot raised above the level of your heart for 48 hours (such as up on a pillow). This will help drain fluid and reduce swelling.
Stiff-soled shoes or rigid orthotics—Wear stiff-soled shoes or rigid orthotic inserts in your shoes to keep your toe from hyperextending.
The following drugs may help reduce inflammation and pain:
Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
Surgery is only needed to repair turf toe if:
A small piece of bone has been broken off by the injury to the ligament
A ligament is torn completely
Often, turf toe cannot be prevented. However, to reduce your risk of getting turf toe, wear stiff-soled athletic shoes when playing sports.
Proper treatment of turf toe can help prevent long-term complications or problems with the toe joint such as misalignment and immobility.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a