While we’re celebrating the 4th of July here in America, the rest of the world is looking toward Brazil and the quarter-finals of the World Cup. The tournament has already been an eventful one, with a variety of dramatic injuries taking place. One injury that players and their trainers are watching for is turf toe. It may seem small, but it can affect a player for weeks.
Turf toe is a painful sprain in the soft tissues surrounding the big toe. This weakens the whole first joint at the base of the toe, impairing your ability to push off the ground. For athletes, that is a critical loss—but even for anyone else, the discomfort and decrease in your ability to walk can be serious. Since it’s a sprain, the injury also risks chronic complications if it’s not treated properly.
Coming back after the injury depends on your recovery. First, start the RICE therapies: rest, ice, compress, and elevate. Take a break from your activities and try not to use the big toe. Ice the joint frequently, especially within the first few days. Use a compression bandage and elevate the foot to help discourage swelling.
Then you’ll need to have your foot evaluated to determine the extent of the damage and how to treat it. Your foot may need to be immobilized in a splint, cast, or boot for a time. Even when you are safe to return to your activities, you may need shoes with stiffer soles to protect the joint. Most likely you’ll need physical therapy to strengthen the supporting tissues while maintaining your range of motion.
Whatever you do, don’t rush your recovery. Take the time you need to heal, and then you can return stronger. If you’re struggling with your turf toe, contact our team here at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona for an appointment. You can use the online request form, call, or fax either of our two offices to reach us: call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375 for our Chandler office; or call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229 for our Gilbert location.