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Turf toe is a sprain of the big toe. It is caused when the big toe gets jammed or hyperextended and is common among athletes and dancers. It is especially common in football players that play on artificial turf or ballerinas. When the damage or injury continually occurs, the ligaments in the joint of the big toe get sprained. Turf toe can be quite painful and sideline you from your activities.

In most cases, it is hard to prevent turf toe from happening because it is accidental; however, in some cases, turf toe can be prevented by wearing shoes with better support, taping the toe, or learning to walk or run differently. Turf toe treatment begins with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is a common treatment plan for many different injuries and is known as the acronym R.I.C.E. If you are concerned that you might have this painful condition, call us at 561-793-6170 today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced podiatrists in Palm Beach Gardens or our other 5 locations. You can also complete the form to request an appointment online.

What is Turf Toe?

Turf toe is a is an athletic injury in the ligaments and connective tissues that surround the joint that connects your big toe to the ball of your foot. Athletes, dancers, and gymnasts are most at risk for turf toe. It can be an injury from one incident, such as a tackle in football that hyperextends the toe. These football injuries are most common on artificial turf. Or it can also happen as a result of repeated movements, such as a ballet dancer or a track and field athlete.

Symptoms of Turf Toe?

Turf toe is painful and other symptoms include swelling and being unable to move your toe easily or without pain. If repetitive movements are causing turf toe, then the pain may just start out mild and get worse over time. If turf toe occurs during an injury, the pain is often more acute and many patients say they heard and felt it “pop”.

Treatments for Turf Toe

Treatment for turf toe begins with the R.I.C.E. method, as mentioned above. After allowing ample time for recovery and for the initial treatment of rest, ice, compression, and elevation, then the doctor will likely re-evaluate the injury to see if further treatment is necessary. The next step in treatment options would be to tape the foot and recommend different shoes for athletes to wear when they return to the game. If you are not ready to return to regular activities yet, it might be because the podiatrist feels that your foot is not ready for weight baring activity yet, so he may put you in a cast or a walking boot and suggest the use of crutches. In some cases of severe turf toe, surgery would be recommended in order to provide you with the best option for pain relief and for returning to your sport faster.

Diagnosing Turf Toe

What should you expect when visiting the South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers for turf toe treatment? Our podiatrists specialize in making you feel comfortable by involving you in the treatment plan and explaining all of the available options to you. Diagnosing turf toe is done following a physical examination of your foot. You should also be prepared to explain to your doctor how you received the injury, when the pain started, and what level of pain you are experiencing. An x-ray might be done so that the podiatrist can get a better idea of the structure of the bones in your toe and foot. The South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers doctors’ have a great deal of clinical experience and expertise in treating this and other conditions of the feet.


The podiatrists at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers have extensive training and clinical experience when it comes to evaluating, diagnosing patients and providing treatment to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with turf toe. It is important to remember not to return to your sport or activities until giving your turf toe the proper time to heal. We pride ourselves on providing a good experience during your office visits where you are involved in our plan of care.

Don’t live with foot pain or ankle pain another day! Our Palm Beach Gardens podiatrists and our podiatrists at our other locations are very experienced in diagnosis and treatment. We accept all major insurance providers. Call 561-793-6170 to schedule an appointment or complete form.

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