What is turf toe, you ask? Simply put, turf toe is a sprain of the big toe joint. Imagine the shape that a foot takes when an athlete is on the starting blocks preparing to sprint—the heel is raised, the weight of the body is placed upon the ball of the foot and toes. The ligaments of the big toe joint allow for this movement, acting as a hinge to move the big toe up and down. This means that it also absorbs the weight and pressure from which you propel yourself forward.
When your body attempts to make that initial "push off," sometimes the big toe remains flat on the floor and doesn't lift. We call this a hyperextension, and if repeated enough over time, or with sudden force, it can cause a sprain in the ligaments of the joint. Turf toe is commonly seen in athletes that play on artificial surfaces, such as turf or basketball and tennis courts, as they are harder than grass. This injury may cause pain, swelling, and toe misalignment. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Robert Parker at Parker Foot and Ankle here in Houston, TX. Call (281) 497-2850 or fill out our online patient form.