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Big Toe Joint Injury / “Turf Toe”

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Updated:

March 31, 2024

What is Turf Toe?

big toe joint injury

The first big toe joint is a complicated structure, handling most of the weight and torque not only while running but also during bending and walking on hard floors. Similar to other metatarsal-phalangeal joints, it features a smooth cartilage interface and a large range of motion.

However, this joint is unique due to two bones underneath it known as ‘sesamoids’. The true “turf toe” definition involves the rupture of the ligaments at the bottom of this joint that keep these bones in place.

Once ruptured, the turf toe treatment can range from 4 weeks in a walking boot to 8 to 12 weeks following surgical repair. Turf toe symptoms include pain that ranges from dull to sharp, depending on the level of damage or injury to the joint.

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How We Treat Turf Toe Injury

Turf Toe

For those suffering from turf toe, we recommend trying out conservative treatment methods first. If these methods fail, we then suggest moving forward with our non-invasive turf toe surgery.

Conservative Turf Toe Treatments

Shoes:

A firmer shoe can relieve direct or indirect pressure and minimize movement of the big toe joint injury. Ensure the wear shoes has enough room at the end (the toebox), about the width of your thumb, and that the front of the shoe is high enough to allow your toes to move freely.

Arch Support:

Temporary arch supports and supportive athletic shoes will reduce pressure and pain at the big toe joint. Custom molded orthotics are the best solution for immediate and long-term turf toe treatment.

Padding:

Over-the-counter padding can be applied on top or around the big toe joint to prevent pain with restrictive shoes.

Medication:

Anti-inflammatories, both topical and oral, may help with chronic pain. Injection therapy is most effective for the acute pain associated with turf toe occurs.

Surgical Treatment for Turf Toe

Surgical treatment options for a severe or chronic painful turf toe can vary. A simple soft tissue capsule or ligament tear requires a non-weight bearing status for 3 to 4 weeks, partial weight bearing in a walking cast boot with support 4 to 6 weeks, and full weight bearing with physical therapist 6 to 8 weeks. Sesamoid bone involvement can require fixation or removal of the bone(s), with full recovery taking up to 12 weeks.

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Insurance Coverage for Big Toe Joint Injury / “Turf Toe”

Navigating insurance coverage for Big Toe Joint Injury or "Turf Toe" is streamlined at Modern Foot & Ankle, as we're in network with all major insurance providers.

Our team is dedicated to collaborating with these companies to ensure you receive the coverage you need for your treatment. To see the extensive list of plans we work with, we invite you to visit our insurance page.

We'll work closely with your insurance provider to maximize your benefits, ensuring you're fully covered as our priority is to make the insurance process as smooth as possible, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery with peace of mind.

Why Choose Us For Your Care to Modern Foot & Ankle

When it comes to addressing turf toe injuries and other foot-related conditions, selecting the right healthcare provider is of the utmost importance. At Modern Foot & Ankle, we stand out with our cutting-edge treatment methodologies and a deeply ingrained patient-first ethos.

Unparalleled Expertise in Surf Toe

Our clinic is renowned for its deep specialization in turf toe diagnosed and managing foot and ankle ailments. Our medical professionals possess a profound understanding of turf toe complexities, ensuring that every patient receives expert care tailored to their specific condition.

A Spectrum of Advanced Treatment Modalities

We take pride in offering an extensive array of treatment options, ranging from non-invasive physical therapy sessions and bespoke orthotic solutions to pioneering surgical interventions. This ensures a holistic approach to each patient’s recovery, catering to their individual health needs and preferences.

Harnessing the Latest in Medical Innovations

At Modern Foot & Ankle, we are at the forefront of adopting the newest medical technologies. This commitment enables us to diagnose and treating turf toe with unparalleled precision, significantly improving turf toe recovery time and patient outcomes.

Tailored Therapeutic Strategies for Every Patient

Recognizing the unique nature of each injured foot, we craft personalized treatment plans. This bespoke approach guarantees that our care pathways align perfectly with the specific recovery goals and lifestyle considerations of our patients.

Empowering Patients Through Education

We believe in the power of education to prevent future injuries. Our comprehensive resources and expert advice on optimal footwear and foot care practices empower our patients to take proactive steps in preventing turf toe and other foot conditions.

Open Lines of Communication and Easy Accessibility

Communication is the cornerstone of our patient care philosophy. We ensure seamless accessibility and clear, open lines of dialogue, allowing for immediate and insightful responses to any queries or concerns our patients may have.

In Summary

  1. Turf toe is a significant big toe joint injury typically occurring in athletes or individuals engaging in activities on artificial turf. The condition arises from the rupture of ligaments at the bottom of the metatarsophalangeal joint, leading to pain and restricted range of motion.
  2. Treatment varies from conservative measures, such as wearing shoes with proper support and utilizing a walking boot, to more advanced options like surgery, depending on the injury's severity.
  3. Common Turf toe symptoms often include sharp or dull pain, which necessitates professional evaluation to diagnose turf toe accurately. Most turf toe injuries benefit from early intervention, highlighting the importance of seeking medical advice upon experiencing symptoms of turf toe.
  4. At Modern Foot & Ankle, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest level of care, from diagnosed turf toe and treating to offering surgical solutions when necessary.
  5. Our approach combines expertise, personalized treatment plans, and a commitment to patient education, ensuring those we serve not only recover from their current injuries but also possess the knowledge to prevent turf toe and other foot-related injuries in the future.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.

FAQs

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Is turf toe a serious injury?

Yes, turf toe is a serious injury if the plantar plate or sesamoids are injured. The big toe joint manages most of the pressure, including the ‘push off’ propulsion force of the foot during normal walking and the exponential force during running.

When should I see a doctor for turf toe?

You should see a doctor for turf toe for persistent pain, swelling, and to rule out serious injuries like a sesamoid fracture.

Should you stretch your turf toe?

You should stretch a turf toe if it is either healed or close to being healed. The fibrous tissue at the bottom of the big toe joint can contract during or after healing. Stretching the big toe upwards (dorsiflexion) to the point of tension or mild discomfort 4 to 6 weeks after injury can help maintain the range of motion and even prevent reinjury.

How long does turf toe last?

It takes 4 to 6 weeks for a big toe injury to heal if the patient remains partial or non-weight bearing in a walking boot.

What is the fastest way to cure turf toe?

The fastest way to cure turf toe is to stay non-weight bearing with crutches 3 to 4 weeks or until there is no pain with weight-bearing activities.

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Local Podiatrists specializing in Turf Toe

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