If you watched the Super Bowl you probably were wowed by Atlanta Falcons player Julio Jones making that amazing catch in the fourth quarter. It’s all the more incredible when you realize that he did it with a severe turf toe injury. Jones made a mistake, however, that we at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC frequently urge our patients not to make: he played through the pain and most likely will now require surgery to repair his injured toe.
What Causes Turf Toe?
Turf toe is a sprain to the joint of the big toe. It gets its name from the fact that it frequently happens to athletes who play on artificial turf because the hard surface causes the toe to jam and stick while the rest of the body continues to moves forward, causing the sprain. Turf toe can also come on gradually as a result of excessive repetitive upward bending of the toe. That’s why we commonly see this injury in football, basketball and soccer players as well as in wrestlers, gymnasts and dancers.
Diagnosis and Treatment
In order to properly diagnose a turf toe injury, one of our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko will need to examine your toe and will also want to hear about your sports activities and the particulars of the injury if it was sudden. X-rays and advance imaging studies may also be utilized to rule out a fracture. Once a turf toe diagnosis is confirmed the podiatrist will want you to follow the RICE regimen:
In most cases, an ample amount of rest to allow the sprain to heal should repair the injury. The ice, compression and elevation will aid with pain and swelling. If the injury is severe, however, or the pain does not go away after a sufficient rest period, the foot doctor may recommend surgery.
If your toe is bothering you or you believe you may have sprained it due to an injury, contact our Valley Stream or Lake Success office for an appointment by calling: (516) 825-4070 or (516) 327-0074.