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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for tag: pain

By Clark Podiatry Center
September 11, 2019
Category: toe injuries
Tags: turf toe   Fall sports   bunion   orthotic   podiatrist   athlete   pain  

With school starting, our children will be competing in a variety of fall sports. One issue that will unfortunately pop up will be something called turf toe. What is turf toe? Turf toe is when the main joint of the big toe is sprained. While a relatively recent injury, it usually occurs when an athlete plants their foot on artificial turf and overextends his big toe. Because turf increases traction, the surface is less forgiving than regular grass. Many schools have substituted artificial turf to increase athlete speed and save on maintenance costs.

Symptoms of turf toe include:

  • Inflammation – area around the big toe will swell
  • Bruising – big toe will be bruised
  • Pain – Turf toe is painful as it is a strain of the joint and can include damage to cartilage
  • Inability to bend toe forward – over extended toe losses some of its strength
  • Loose toe joint – destabilizes foot

Your podiatrist will use an X-ray and MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan to identify the extent of the injury. Turf toe is categorized by Grades – Grade 1 – Strain of the big toe joint, Grade 2 – partial tear of the area around the joint and Grade 3 – a complete tear of the toe joint. Each grade has to be treated differently.

  • Grade 1 – requires RICE or Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The affected athlete can still participate in sports, but will probably have to wear a rigid orthotic.
  • Grade 2 - requires a boot or caste for up to a week. After, the foot will need to be taped for stability. Apply RICE.
  • Grade 3 – will require a boot or caste to be worn for several weeks with the toe bent downward.

When healed sufficiently, physical therapy will likely be recommended.

Surgery can be a treatment but is used for specific circumstances including:

  • Severe tear – must be stabilized to heal.
  • Instability of the big toe joint – same as above. Will severely impact walk if not attended to.
  • Bone chips – must be removed.
  • Damage to the cartilage – needs repair.
  • Development of a bunion – can be aggravated by turf toe.

Turf toe is usually treated successfully if acted on early enough.   

Do you have turf toe or any other questions regarding your feet, schedule an appointment with Clark Podiatry Center to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon A. Macy. He can assess your feet to ensure that there are no issues making sure that you not only choose the right shoes, but also keep your feet healthy. Come see us at our Clark, New Jersey office today!



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470