Turf Toe

Turf toe is a hyperextension injury to the ligament underneath the great toe. This injury was dubbed “turf toe” due to its increased incidence once athletes began playing on artificial turf. When running on a solid surface with soft-soled shoes, the great toe extends farther than normal, causing an injury to the ligament responsible for limiting toe extension.

Symptoms include pain, especially with activity, swelling, discoloration, tenderness to the touch, with a decrease in pain when wearing hard-soled shoes versus soft soles or no shoes at all.

Treatment includes rest, ice, compression, elevation, anti-inflammatory medication as needed, and taping to return to play.


  • Wear hard-soled shoes while participating in activities on hard surfaces, such as artificial turf or basketball courts.
  • Use athletic tape for added support.
  • Use proper running technique.


  • Depends on whether surgery is required or not
  • No surgery: rest, ice, compression, elevation (R.I.C.E.), stretching, strengthening, and taping
  • Surgery: immobilization followed by progressive stretching and strengthening exercises as prescribed by the doctor
Content on this page is for informational purposes only. If injured, please consult a physician.

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