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Procedure - Turf Toe

A common injury seen in athletes at Ogden Clinic in Utah is turf toe. Turf toe is a sprain to the ligaments at the base of the big toe and is usually caused when a person’s shoe or foot sticks to the ground, while bodyweight is propelled forward. This causes the toe to bend upwards causing the strain. Athletes who participate in sports like volleyball, football, and martial arts are often susceptible to turf toe. Having improper ankle support or wearing soft, flexible shoes can increase someone’s chances of getting turf toe.

People with turf toe will often experience:

  • Swelling around the big toe
  • Pain and tenderness as the joint moves up or down
  • Decreased mobility or instability
  • Sensitivity on the ball of the foot

Once an Ogden Clinic Foot and Ankle Orthopedist diagnoses your turf toe, he/she will generally take an X-ray to make sure that none of the bones were fractured during the injury. For more severe cases, or for patients whose symptoms do not subside, your orthopedist may request an MRI.

The most common treatments for turf toe include:

  • PRICE: This treatment will involve protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. To protect the toe from greater injury, you may have to use a crutch to avoid putting weight on your foot or wear very stable shoes to prevent the toe from bending. When you are at home it is important to rest and elevate the toe above your heart, as well as ice it (20 minutes at a time) to reduce swelling. You can also wear a compression bandage or brace around the toe to minimize swelling.
  • Turf Toe Taping: Your doctor can also show you how to tape the injured toe in place to avoid unnecessary movement and further strain.

Surgery is rarely required for a turf toe injury, unless there is a more serious underlying cause for the problem. A turf toe generally heals within 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the severity of the sprain.

If you have recently sprained your big toe, come to Ogden Clinic Foot and Ankle Orthopedics for a turf toe diagnosis and treatment plan. Call us today to schedule an appointment.


Powell, Brian, MD
4700 Harrison Blvd.
Ogden, UT
801-475-3300