Turf Toe…. it’s an injury that doesn’t sound like much but can certainly “packs a punch”. Athletes that suffer from a sore big toe can easily be out of action for weeks. The base of the big toe is a small area but it can become a very painful piece of real estate.
Turf Toe is a common injury for athletes participating stop-and-go sports such as football, basketball and soccer.
Pain in the big toe is typically caused by the athlete jamming their toe into the ground, resulting in a sprain to the #1 metatarsal phalangeal joint.
Former Pittsburg Steelers linebacker and legendary tough guy Jack Lambert was forced to retire after his 11th season due to a severe case of turf toe.
For a simple and effective management plan to resolve a sore big toe, we turn to emedicine.com with their expert advice on tackling turf toe.
emedicine.medscape.com has the answers and the solutions to your turf toe problems.
From emedicine.medscape.com :
Conservative management in the acute stages, regardless of grade, consists of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Taping is not recommended in the acute stages because of swelling and the risk of vascular compromise. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help minimize pain and inflammation. In some cases, a short leg cast with a toe spica in slight plantarflexion or a walker boot may be used for the first week to help decrease pain. Gradual range of motion begins in 3-5 days following injury.
After the acute stages, conservative management is based on the grade of injury, as follows:
Grade I injuries are treated by taping the great toe to the lesser toes to prevent movement of the hallux metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. Players may also consider using an insole containing a carbon fiber steel plate in the forefoot. As always, the overall goal is to restrict forefoot motion. Usually, persons with grade I injuries can return to play immediately, with only mild pain.
Grade 2 injuries are treated in the same way as grade 1 injuries are, but athletes may lose significantly more playing time. Lost playing time can range from 3-14 days. Use of a fracture walker and/or crutches is preferred.
Grade 3 injuries usually require long-term immobilization in a boot or cast rather than surgical intervention. Frequently, these injuries result in 2-6 weeks of missed playing time. Return to play is generally acceptable when 50-60 º of passive dorsiflexion is possible without pain.