Turf toe is a term that refers to the sprain of the big toe ligaments, also called as metatarsophalangeal joint sprain. It is a condition caused by jamming the big toe or repeatedly forcing it while running or jumping, causing hyperextension of the ligament.
It is a condition more often seen in athletes that play in artificial turf, but it can happen on any kind of surface.
Sometimes turf toe can happen if the athlete is not wearing the right kind of shoes or cleats that support the foot the right way.
The patient can suffer from swelling, pain and limited joint movement in one of the big toes. The symptoms can occur gradually, getting worse over time, or it can happen suddenly, which will cause something like a “pop”, and the turf toe will start to get worse in the next 24 hours.
Here we will discuss the causes, symptoms and treatments for this specific condition and how to prevent it.
What are the causes?
This condition can be caused in any kind of sports or activity when the forefoot is fixed to the ground with the heel raised, and there is a big force that pushes the big toe, causing the hyperextension.
Caused by repeatedly forcing the ligaments of the big toe, turf toe is a common condition between athletes. It is often diagnosed in football, baseball, basketball players and other kinds of athletes that demand high body performance.
Turf toe is a condition that reaches around the big toe joints that provides up and down movements. We have two bones called sesamoids, they work as a pulley for the tendon and provide leverage when you walk or run, also absorbing the weight on the ball of the foot.
An example is when you run. You’re trying to “push off” your body from the ground, making your weight alternate between your two feet, and consequently your toes. If the toe is suddenly put in too much tension, you can hyperextend the toe ligament.