HomeNutritionTurf Toe - Unanswered Questions Revealed

Turf Toe - Unanswered Questions Revealed

How many of us have been watching a football game only to learn that a player who is getting paid millions of dollars is out with Turf Toe? Are you kidding me? Isn’t that just a stubbed toe? How can it take weeks to recover from such a minor injury?

Turf Toe is an injury where the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint, the joint just behind the big toe, is sprained. In football, it often occurs when a player is set before a play, the joint already in an extended position. When the play starts, the player propels forward, further extending the joint. When the player is hit and forced back, the joint hyperextends and sprains. Sound painful? It is! Much more so than stubbing a toe, as so many mistake this injury for.

This injury does not only occur in football, but is possible in most every sport. The joint becomes inflamed and quite painful as a result. This is treated with oral anti-inflammatory medication and strapping, a taping to limit the extension of the joint. Occasionally more aggressive treatment, such as an injection of cortisone into the joint, may be needed.

Turf Toe can also cause more long-term conditions which will be a nuisance for a long time to come. A severe sprain to the joint can cause an arthritic condition to begin. The first symptom of arthritis is pain with exertion – running, climbing, etc. With time, this can lead to a bone enlargement and spurring similar to a bunion.

Conservative measures are usually used in the treatment of Turf Toe and the resulting arthritis. A custom insole called an orthotic will help to position the foot in an ideal position, keeping the pressure off the injured joint. Another level of support is the use of a thin carbon steel insole to restrict the motion of the joint. Physical therapy is also helpful in restoring the motion of the joint while helping to minimize the inflammation.

Of course, if conservative measures fail, there is surgical treatment available for this condition. The surgeries range in complexity from removal of a bone spur over the joint to decompression of the joint by shortening the metatarsal bone. Your podiatrist will be able to discuss this in much greater detail with you if the need arises.

So the next time you see a hard hit and hear about turf toe, you can rest assured knowing that instead of earning his salary on the field, that player is going through some painful rehabilitation. All in the name of our entertainment!

Source by Dr Andrew Schneider

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