Turf Toe Overview
Turf toe is a painful medical condition in which the big toe is bended upwards more than normally. It occurs as a consequence of trauma. The ligaments which connect the foot to the big toe are damaged. Turf toe can result from the injury during different sports activities such as basketball, soccer and rugby. Still this type of injury actually the most commonly affects football players. Even though the injury has not been considered very serious the patients who have suffered from turf toe do complain about the symptoms even 5 years after the injury. There is several variations of the injury and they are classified according to the structures which are affected. This is why proper diagnosis determines whether patients are going to be treated conservatively or they are perfect candidates for surgery.
Professional athletes may prevent injury to certain extent if they wear proper sports shoes which are of excellent quality and made especially for particular surface. This mainly refers to football players.
Symptoms and Signs of Turf Toe
The injured patients complain about the pain, restriction of movement and tenderness of the injured area. The toe and its joint are swollen, red and bruised. Therfore, the injured person has to limp. The intensity of pain depends on the intensity of the injury.
In some cases symptoms of turf toe may develop gradually. This injury most commonly affects young athletes who are trying to increase their performance.
If a direct injury is a cause of this medical condition the symptoms develop rapidly and worsen over the first 24 hours.
Conventional Treatment and Surgery for Turf Toe
The doctor will take X ray of the injured area to rule out injury of the bones.
Conventional treatment starts with immediate application of cold compresses onto the injured area. Compresses may be fixed with a bandage. These two activities help with reduction of swelling. The patient's leg is elevated. Also all the injured patients are adviced to use crutches for a while to help the process of healing and reduce the pressure onto the injured toe.
The patients are also given painkillers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
Surgery is performed only to repair the damage of the ligaments or joint capsule of the injured toe. Not all the patients are operated. Even those who suffer from chronic symptoms long after the surgery are excellent candidates for the surgery. In some cases, the goal of a surgical procedure is to remove bone spurs that have formed near the big toe. Bone spurs may occur as a consequence of the injury.