Turf Toe Specialist

Gotham Footcare

Podiatrists located in New York, NY

Turf Toe Q & A

What is Turf Toe?

“Turf Toe” is the common term used to describe a sprain of the ligaments surrounding the great toe joint.  It is caused by a forceful upward push, also known as hyperdorsiflexion of the toe, while the rest of the foot remains stationary.  Turf Toe can result gradually from the repetitive strain of the ligaments or suddenly from an acute injury.  Many activities that require dorsiflexion of landing on the great toe can cause Turf Toe.  Although it is commonly associated with football players who play on artificial turf, it affects athletes in other sports including, basketball, soccer, wrestling, gymnastics, and dance. 

What are the symptoms of Turf Toe?

  • Pain at the base of the great toe joint
  • Limited range of motion in the great toe joint.
  • Bruising
  • Swelling

How to treat Turf Toe?

At Gotham Footcare, your doctor will perform a thorough physical and radiographic evaluation of the great toe joint to rule out both soft tissue and osseous injury.  This particular injury can range from a mild sprain to a ruptured ligament.  Depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time can range from less than a week to more than a month.  Initially, your doctor will advise you to R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate) your foot.  You may be immobilized with a pneumatic walking boot, and given a topical and/or oral NSAID to help reduce pain and swelling.  Once your pain decreases, we offer in-office physical therapy as an option to restore strength and flexibility to your foot.  Your doctor will also employ taping techniques, such as kinesiology taping after the injury to limit the mobility of the strained tissue and promote healing.