Kids out and about for summer pursuing all of the leisure time activities their hearts desire, also run the risk of injury. Turf toe is a rather funny name for a painful and aggravating condition. It is called turf toe because it most commonly affects athletes that play on an artificial playing field where the danger of cleats grabbing into the surface and causing the big toe to over bend. It is common in football and soccer players, as well as, dancers and other athletes. It can happen to anyone, anytime the big toe is stretched past its normal range. Turf toe is a sprain of the ligaments of the big toe and needs to be reckoned with because of the lengthy rest period required for proper healing. This injury often occurs as a traumatic event, but may also happen over time.
Symptoms of turf toe include pain, some swelling and a discernible pop may have occurred. The ability to move the toe is impeded.
Once the sprain has happened, it’s too late to worry about prevention, but there are a few things that can be tried in an effort to avoid the injury:
- Proper warm-up activities
- Wear a better shoe that lessens the amount of bending
- Wear special inserts designed for inside the shoe
- Gait analysis may indicate some correction that needs to be made
In order to correctly diagnose turf toe, Dr. Vargas will ask you extensive questions about how the injury occurred, what you do for a living, athletic endeavors that you pursue and your foot type as well as many other questions designed to get at the bottom of why the injury happened. He may then want x-rays, or other imaging that may include MRIs and CT scans. These tests will allow a definitive diagnosis and rule out other possible injuries.
Treatment consists primarily of rest. It may take two to three weeks for the injury to heal; during which time Dr. Vargas may request you to wear an immobilizing boot cast or use crutches. Dr. Vargas may choose to tape your big toe to the toe next to it for added support. He may also advise you to take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. This will help with the swelling as well as discomfort.
If you have pain due to any injury, contact Dr. Vargas at (281) 313-0090 or (281) 342-8700. No foot pain should go undiagnosed as it can lead to more serious complications. Foot pain is not normal – it is your body sending you a warning that should not be ignored.