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Martin Foot & Ankle

Turf Toe: Trouble on the Field

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FootballThe Lancaster Lebanon League has its share of talented football players. Five of them, in fact will be representing Team East during the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association East/West All-Star Game in May! You don’t want to say these stars have turf toe, though. It’s not like having a green thumb in gardening. Turf toe doesn’t mean you’re good on the field; it means you’ve suffered a painful injury that will take you off it.

Turf toe, simply put, is a sprain of the joint at the base of the big toe. This area is also called the metatarsophalangeal joint, so we’re not surprised its nickname is more popular.

But why associate turf with a toe sprain? Although anyone can suffer such a sprain, the injury tends to be more common in those who play sports on artificial turf. This type of surface is harder and more unyielding than most natural ground, and the shoes that are worn on it aren’t the best at protecting against overextension. They’re soft, flexible, and can plant into the ground. Good for quick moves in general, but sometimes bad at preventing the toe from moving where it should.

A toe sprain can be painful, but it’s rarely going to end someone’s career if cared for properly. You do not want to continue playing on the injury, and we recommend coming in so we can take a look at it and make sure there’s nothing out of the ordinary with it. You want to make sure sprains of any type heal properly, otherwise they could lead to joint instability, weakness, or pain in the long run.

If your toe, foot, or ankle has taken a troublesome hit, the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle can help. Call us at (717) 757-3537 to schedule an appointment at our offices in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz and York.
Dr. Michael B. Younes
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