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Patrick Mahomes: Playing in the Superbowl with a TURF TOE INJURY

Turf Toe:

Simply stated a turf to injury occurs when the big toe joint (MTPJ) gets "jammed" against the ground and flexes beyond its capabilities. This is prevalent in football players as most games are now played on turf. This artificial material is harder and grass and doesn't "give" as much when the foot is pivoting.

Anatomy of the Big Toe Joint:

             

The big toe joint is made up of four bone and two joint. The main joint (MTPJ) is where the first long bone of the foot (metatarsal) meets the first bone of the toe (phalanx). 

The big toe joint is also surrounded by important soft tissue structure and another 2 bones that support the movement of this big toe joint.

- Plantar Plate: Helps reduce the big toe from bending too far

- Ligaments: support the side-to-side

- Muscle: Provides strength and stability during push-off

- Sesamoid bones: 2 small pea bones on the bottom of the big toe joint that help the upwards and downwars movement (just like the knee cap on the knee)

Is this only seen in football players?

No, this hyperextension injury can occur in many different athletic events including but not limited to: ballet, dance and soccer. 

Turf toe can occur in any sport or activity when the forefoot is fixed on the ground, the heel is raised, and a force pushes the big toe into hyperextension.

Signs and Symptoms of Turf Toe: Turf toe injuries can vary in severity

- Pain

- swelling

- Black and blue

- Inability to bend toe 

- Inabilty to bear weight

Treatment options: Again remember, turf toe injuries vary in severity and if left untreated can cause long term pain.
- Rest
- Ice
- Elevation
- Compression
 
What to expect at the doctors office:
- Medical history and examination
- X-rays
- Depending on symptoms and recovery: Immobilization, MRI, Surgery
 
Long Term Outcomes:
 
- A wide range of mild - modeate but persistant symptoms such as pain and joint stiffness are the most common complications
- Potential long-term complications include lack of push-off strength, stiffness, bunion and big toe elevation
Author
Garrett Kalmar, DPM, AACFAS

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