Turf Toe

What is Turf Toe?

Turf toe is a hyperextension injury to the big toe joint (1st metatarsal phalangeal joint) with damage to the plantar plate and sesamoid complex. There is a sprain/tear to the ligaments of the joint with possible damage to the sesamoid bones. The tear of the ligaments typically occur off the proximal phalanx. 

What are the grades of a Turf Toe Injury?

1- sprain, 2-partial tear, 3 – complete tear. If there is complete dislocation of the big toe joint the Jahss Classification can be used. 

How to diagnose a turf toe injury?

There is often an inciting event that causes the turf toe injury and after there is pain, stiffness, swelling, and bruising along the big toe joint. Clinically there will be pain around the joints due to ligamentous damage, sesamoids are palpated for pain, a vertical lachman test is done to test the integrity of the ligaments, and hyperextension of the joint should cause pain. X-rays are often done to rule out any bone fractures and an MRI may be considered. 

How to treat turf toe?

Turf toe is treated with rest, ice, compression, elevation, NSAIDs, taping/splinting of the big toe joint, post op shoe/walking boot. Surgery is considered if conservative treatment fails, fracture/retraction of sesamoids, loose fragments in joint. Patients with turf toe injury are at risk for developing damage to the cartilage and developing joint arthritis. 

Video of a taping for toe turf injury: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mUuX-awUxs

If you have foot or ankle pain and would like a consultation. Make an appointment at Orange County Podiatry with Dr. Andrew Yang https://ocfootandankleclinic.com/appointments/ or call (949) 651-1202