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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 09, 2015
Tags: turf toe  

It’s back to school and lots of kids are hitting the fields for soccer, football, and other fall sports. At Philip S. Pinsker, that means we will most likely be seeing an increase in an injury known as Turf Toe.  Turf toe results from hyperextension of the big toe joint as the heel is lifted off the ground, such as when a person pushes off with their foot but the big toe jams or stays flat on the ground. The force exerted on the toe causes the ligaments and soft tissue structures that support the toe to be torn or ruptured. A large number of these injuries occur when playing on artificial turf fields and hence the name, Turf Toe.

What are the Symptoms of Turf Toe?

A Turf Toe injury can be the result of a sudden injury or it can develop over time as a result of repetitive hyperextension as seen in sports like basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and even certain forms of dance.  If Turf Toe is due to a sudden injury, your child may feel a “pop” when the toe was first injured. There will be pain at the moment of the injury but it may not be severe enough to cause the athlete to sit out the rest of the game. Unfortunately, this may result in a more severe injury. If Turf Toe is the cause of an ongoing repetitive action, the pain may also come on gradually but in both cases it will continue to worsen to the point where it will be very uncomfortable and mobility of the joint will be extremely limited. There will also be swelling at the joint and tenderness.

Treatment

If you suspect your child has injured his or her big toe, our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will conduct a thorough exam of the injured toe and foot and most likely will order x-rays which can be done in our Washington, PA office. Once a diagnosis of Turf Toe is confirmed, Dr. Pinsker will recommend the best course of treatment. This may include the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to relieve the symptoms. It is usually a few weeks before the athlete can participate in sports and footwear modifications may be necessary once he or she does start playing again.

If you suspect an injury, it’s best to not “wait to see if it will go away,” but rather to contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for evaluation. 

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