Turf Toe

Turf toe is an injury to the soft tissues around the great toe joint. The injury occurs when the great toe is bent backward too far. This can result in the capsule that holds the big toe joint together to tear. This is a common in sports that require rapid changes in direction like soccer. The injury is especially common on artificial turf fields.


Turf toe is an acute injury and typically results in immediate pain and swelling of the great toe joint. Some individuals will feel or hear a pop which is the tearing of the joint capsule. Depending on the severity of the injury the big toe may not be able to move.


Diagnosis is typically made with a history and physical exam. X-rays are typically performed to rule out fracture. A MRI is useful in determining the extent of the injury.


The goal of treatment is to allow healing of the soft tissue. Initial treatment involves rest, ice and elevation. Immobilization of the great toe joint will allow the capsule to heal. Immobilization can be achieved with a surgical shoe or Cam Walker. Future treatment will include a stiff sole shoe or rigid orthotic.

*For products used in the treatment of turf toe we recommend footsupplystore.com

*If you have sustained an injury to your great toe joint please call our office (numbers below) or fill out the contact form for evaluation by one of our board certified physicians.


I suffered with chronic heel pain for over a year. I finally went to see Dr. Fritz who examined me and performed X-rays on the same visit. He diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis. After a course of physical therapy, a cortisone shot and a pair of custom orthotics I’m able to walk pain free again.

- Jeff C.

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