“Turf toe” is the common term used to describe a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe joint.
The most common symptoms of turf toe include pain, swelling and limited joint movement at the base of one big toe.
If caused by a sudden forceful motion, the injury can be painful immediately and worsen within 24 hours. Sometimes when the injury occurs, a “pop” can be felt. If caused by a repetitive injury, symptoms develop slowly and gradually get worse over time.
- Rest, ice, compress and elevate (R.I.C.E)
- Use over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen to control pain and reduce inflammation.
- Tape or strap the injured toe to the toe next to it or immobilize the foot in a cast or special walking boot to keep it from moving.
- Use crutches so that no weight is placed on the injured joint.
Physical therapy will re-establish range of motion, strength, and conditioning of the injured toe. It typically takes two to three weeks for the pain to subside. In severe cases, an orthopedic surgeon may suggest a surgical intervention.