What on earth is Turf toe?


Ouch! That hurts! Yesterday you dusted off your cleats and joined a few friends in a pick up game. You felt good, played well and made some great plays. Your big toe felt a little funny last night but hey,” no pain, no gain”.  Now it’s lunch time and you notice your big toe still hurts. As you pull your sock off, you notice it’s a bit discolored. Hmmm, is it swollen too? Yep, it’s swollen, it’s red and it hurts when you touch it gently.

You may have what is called Turf toe; which, in a nutshell, means you may have sprained your big toe. There are different ‘grades’ of Turf toe and it can be a serious injury. It has sidelined and retired professional athletes like Ray Lewis and Deion Sanders. Deion had surgery on his left toe multiple times. During his October 2014 HuffPost Live interview with Nancy Redd, Deion revealed the severity of his injury. Nancy asked him why he wasn’t a competitor on Dancing With The Stars and Deion pulled his sock off. He had the cameraman focus the camera lens on his mangled toes. It was not a pretty sight. All of our toes are supposed to lay flat but the first three of Deion’s toes are bunched together and his big toe sticks up in the air. Many athletes have given their ‘all’ on the playing field. According to the January 6, 2012 article by  Albert Costill, “What is Turf Toe? 12 NFL Greats Who Have Been Grounded By Turf Toe,” a 2009 study revealed that nearly a third of football players are affected by it.

We suggest you take a look at the additional information below and then head to the freezer for an ice pack. Do you have any pain reliever? You may need some. Your injury is probably not as severe as Deion’s, however, if you had party plans tonight, you may want to cancel them. If your injury is due to Turf toe, right now your big toe would rather be elevated. Milder grades of Turf toe are curable but if your pain persists, contact your podiatrist.






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