Friday, July 28, 2006

Turf Toe Syndrome

What is Turf Toe?

Turf toe can occur after a very vigorous upward bending of the big toe. It got it's name due to the fact that it occurs frequently in people who play games on artificial surfaces. The shoe grips hard on the surface and sticks causing bodyweight to go forward and so bending the toe up. It is also common in martial arts. You are more at risk if you have increased range of motion in the ankle and / or wear soft flexible shoes.

When the toe is bent upwards this causes damage to the ligaments which can become stretched. In addition the surfaces of the bones at the joint can become damaged. You should really have an X-ray to check if a bone has not been broken. 
Symptoms of turf toe include: 

Swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe and metatarsal bone in the foot. 
Pain and tenderness on bending the toe or pulling (stretching) it upwards. 
What can the athlete doto prevent turf toe?

Ice the injury immediately. 
Apply a compression bandage. 
See a sports injury professional for advice. 
Rest, which might include crutches to take the weight off the toe. 
Use a brace to protect the toe - or at the very least wear a shoe that has a firm sole that will not allow bending. 
What can a Podiatrist/Sports Therapist do?

X-ray to check for a fracture. 
Apply ultrasound or other electrotherapy treatment. 
After 2 to 4 days the athlete may be able to weight bear again. 
Tape the toe to prevent movement. 
Advise on a rehabilitation programme. 
Recovery of this injury can take three to four weeks depending on how bad the sprain is. If the athlete does not look after this injury then it may develop into Hallux Limitus! This is a decreased range of motion due to arthritis around the joint.
Reference Sports Injury Clinic

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