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Tackle Turf Toe

Turf toe sounds like an injury exclusive to football players, but it’s something that just about anyone can experience. Athletes like soccer players, dancers, ballerinas and runners may be more likely to get turf toe, but it can also be caused by something as simple as taking a wrong step during a walk.

What is Turf Toe?

Turf toe is essentially a sprain to the ligaments in the big toe. Think for a second about the way you walk: Usually, you put the ball of your foot down and push off with your toes. If your toes stay flat on the ground, you can sprain those ligaments, resulting in turf toe.

What are Symptoms of Turf Toe?

Usually, turf toe occurs suddenly — you may not realize you’ve injured your foot immediately after it happens. The first symptoms are pain, swelling and limited movement at the base of one big toe. These symptoms can get worse if you don’t treat the injury. It’s important to get a complete evaluation to diagnose the injury and rule out anything more serious, like a fracture to the bone.

How Is Turf Toe Treated?

Fortunately, turf toe can be treated easily if you recognize your symptoms. Common treatment includes RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and medicine, such as over-the-counter ibuprofen or, if needed, a prescription-strength anti-inflammatory.

Depending on the severity of the injury and how long you’ve experienced symptoms, your physician may also recommend physical therapy. A physical therapist will work with you to introduce exercises that help strengthen the injured areas and be sure you are properly using your foot to prevent future re-injuries.

If you think you have turf toe, schedule an appointment with your physician today. If you need a doctor, call our free, 24-hour physician referral line at 770-214-CARE (2273) or select “Find a Provider” at tanner.org.

Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic has locations in Bremen, Carrollton and Villa Rica. For more information, visit CarrolltonOrtho.com or call 770-834-0873.

Orthopedic and Spine Care

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