Sports Medicine

Turf Toe

Our Pediatric Sports Medicine team put together these videos to provide information for you.

Turf toe is a common injury of the big toe in athletes who play field sports or martial arts. Diagnosis usually includes X-rays and treatment is typically a period of rest.

Patrick Mularoni, MD

Turf toe is an injury to the great or big toe that commonly occurs in athletes playing field sports but this can also occur in martial arts.

The term comes from the idea that this injury is seen with significant frequency in Football players who play on artificial turf. Any sport that requires the athlete to push off against a hard surface can lead to turf toe.

The injury happen when an athletes is moving forward and hyper-extends the great toe. This motion causes strain of the ligaments under the toe leading to pain and inflammation.

The pain gets worse with activity where the player needs to push off of the great toe.

Diagnosis will usually include X-rays of the joint to make sure that the athlete does not have a fracture.

If you have turf toe you can expect that the injury will require rest in order to heal. Once the inflammation has decreased the athlete will likely require bracing or taping in order to stabilize the great toe and subsequently decrease the risk of hyper-extending the toe in the future.


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