What Are the Symptoms of Turf Toe?
The big toe joint can be swollen, painful and have a limited range of motion—all classic symptoms as a result of a sudden injury or gradually progression over time. Just like an ankle sprain, turf toe can be categorized as grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3.
A grade 1 injury might only involve mild to moderate stretching, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness in the joint.
Grade 2 injury features partial tearing of the ligaments.
A grade 3 injury represents a complete rupture and/or a dislocation.
What Causes Turf Toe?
Turf toe can happen in any sport where the front part of the foot is planted on the ground and a force pushes the big toe into hyperextension. A typical case might go like this: a football or soccer player is pushing off to run, but another player falls from behind or the side hyperextending the joint.
Turf toe is especially likely to occur on artificial surfaces, which tend to be both harder and “stickier” to cleats than natural grass. Players who wear more flexible cleats are at higher risk as well.
However, turf toe can occur on any surface and in any sport. It’s also common among dancers, particularly ballet.