toe describes a sprain of the ball of the foot at the great toe. A sprain
means that the ligaments (tissues connecting two bones) are stretched or
torn. This injury most commonly affects football athletes playing on artificial
turf with "turf shoes." When the athlete tries to stop quickly, the shoe
grabs the turf. As the great toe slides over the insole and hits the inside
of the shoe, it is sprained.
The great toe can also be injured
when it is forced to extend more than it normally can. For example, turf
toe can occur when the athlete is standing on the balls of the feet and
another athlete pushes him or her forward, hyperextending the great toe.
A doctor needs to examine the athlete
who may have turf toe. Treatment consists of applying ice, heat, and tape
or stiff-soled inserts in the shoe to restrict movement of the great toe.
The athlete must follow the prescribed treatment to alleviate this disabling
condition and to return to his or her normal level of function.
Bruce Getz, ATC, and Kelli