What Are Common Complications of Turf Toe?

Person resting feet on ledge Turf toe is a common sports injury that occurs when the tissue located in the main joint of the big toe is sprained. These sprains typically happen when the toe is jammed or hyperextended by bending too far in the wrong direction.

Common Complications of Turf Toe

The earlier turf toe is diagnosed and treated, the better the odds of avoiding long-term complications. While fairly common, if left untreated for too long, turf toe can result in persistent pain and stiffness around the injured joint.

Potential complications also include:

  • A decrease in push-off strength
  • Swelling of the toe and front of the foot
  • Bruising
  • Loss of mobility around the joint
  • Bunions
  • Pain when putting weight on the affected area
  • Deformity or an upward slant in the big toe

Understanding the Planter Plate Complex

The planter plate complex is a group of ligaments in your foot that helps protect your joints and provides them with stability. The more severe a turf toe injury is, the more it can affect this important part of your foot. Your healthcare provider will perform a thorough examination to determine the level of your injury based on the following scale.

Grade 1

Moderate turf toe injuries happen when the plantar plate complex is hyperextended. While this can result in swelling and tenderness, it does not usually include bruising. Grade 1 injuries can usually be treated with ice, rest, elevation, and sometimes compression.

Grade 2

When the plantar plate complex is torn, bruising often occurs in addition to swelling, tenderness, and stiffness. These injuries may require a special walking boot and can take 2 – 6 weeks to heal.

Grade 3

In the most severe cases, the plantar plate complex is completely torn, resulting in severe pain, stiffness, and bruising. In these cases, you may need to wear a boot for up to two months to ensure your toe heals properly. While surgery is rarely needed, it may be recommended if the toe is also dislocated or if you are a professional athlete.

Contact Our Experts Today

Our skilled physicians at Orthopedic Associates Of Long Island are here to help diagnose your injury and get you back in the game as quickly as possible. Feel free to call us at 631-689-6698 or to get in touch using our online contact form. We have offices in East Setauket, NY, and Commack, NY, ensuring you can get the care you need at the most convenient location.

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