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




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Posts for tag: turf toe

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!

By Clark Podiatry Center
August 24, 2017
Tags: turf toe   toe pain  

It doesn’t only affect people who play sports on turfs. While they do affect those that play football and soccer, it’s an injury that can affect anyone that may incur impact on the big toe. Turf toe occurs when there is a hyperextension of the ligaments around the big toe joint. When the big toe joint is stretched while the heel is lifted off the ground, right as soon as running begins, the tissues can be torn or ruptured. 

Turf toe causes symptoms of pain, tenderness, and swelling at the big toe joint. Because there are many other possible injuries regarding the big toe joint, it’s possible the injury can be mistaken for other issues. The pain can also go away or be ignored, and the athlete can keep going on the injury, making it worse later.

Here’s how you can tackle turf toe:

  • At first sign of injury to the big toe joint, start with the RICE method of treatment. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation can help with pain-relief and swelling reduction.
  • Use better or alternative equipment or practice sports on a better surface, like actual grass. However, playing on an injury can make it worse, so be sure to rest up. 
  • If pain persists, you may be able to take NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce pain and inflammation. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.
  • Depending on the severity of the injury, our podiatrist may prescribe a walking boot or cast, taping, and rest for 2 weeks or more. Physical therapy may be required if the rest period is long to stretch and strengthen the toe joint.
  • For severe injuries, surgical treatment may be required to repair the soft tissues. This is a last resort and not a common treatment.

If you or a family member has a big toe joint injury, and experience recurring and consistent pain, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. Make an appointment today to have your feet assessed and treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all of Union County! We keep you walking! 


The professional baseball season has just started but already the injuries are mounting up.

Yankee reliever pitcher Bryan Mitchell will be out until at least August because of injuries suffered in a recent Disney World game against the Braves. One injury is bad enough, but Mitchell had the unfortunate luck to suffer two at the same time: a fractured sesamoid bone and a grade 3 turf toe injury. He underwent immediate surgery and is expected to be out for 4 months.

Sesamoid Bone Injuries

There are a few bones in our bodies that are not connected to other bones, instead connecting only to tendons. These are called sesamoid bones and there are 2 very small ones under the foot close to the big toe. Because they help us bear weight and transfer muscle force over the tendons, they are important for walking, jumping and running.

The sesamoid tendons can become inflamed with overuse, causing sesamoiditis. They can also be fractured from a forceful, sudden blow to the foot, causing immediate and severe pain.

Turf Toe

Mitchell's second injury was a grade 3 turf toe injury. Turf toe is a sprain of the ligaments surrounding the big toe joint. It's fairly common with football players, especially on artificial turf - hence the name - but can be seen in many other sports and other activities like ballet.

Symptoms of turf toe include swelling, pain and limited movement of the joint. Grade 3 means that the injury is severe and may require surgery. After surgery, long-term immobilization in a cast will be necessary to allow the ligaments to heal.

Treating Severe Toe Injuries

Many times conservative treatments like R.I.C.E. - rest, ice, compress and elevate - along with immobilizing the toe can help the problem. Steroid injections can reduce pain and inflammation, and custom-fitted orthotics will provide long-term treatment to redistribute pressure.

In serious cases such as Mitchell's, surgery is indicated based on the individual's needs. The presence of 2 different, simultaneous injuries - sesamoid fracture and turf toe - surely complicated his situation.

Contact Us for any Foot, Toe or Ankle Injury

Most serious, painful foot and ankle injuries will not heal on their own, and it can be very damaging to continue playing sports while injured. Please call Dr. Brandon Macy, board certified podiatrist at Clark Podiatry Center for help with any foot or ankle pain. You can reach us to make an appointment in our Clark office at 732-382-3470 or use the contact information at the website. Every patient is treated like a professional sports superstar at the Clark Podiatry Center!

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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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