Turf toe (hallux rigidus) can be a disabling injury that affects the great toe in athletes who engage in certain sports.


Sports affected include: football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, cross-country skiing, cross-country running, volleyball


Mechanism: hyperextension (excessive dorsiflexion) resulting in strain of the joint capsule at the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint


Risk factors:

(1) pivoting and pushing off with excessive force

(2) flexible footwear

(3) recurrent episodes of trauma


Clinical features affecting the base of the great toe:

(1) edema

(2) tenderness

(3) decreased range of motion

(4) pain in the toe on attempting to push off

(5) late effects include degenerative osteoarthritis and formation of osteophytes



(1) control of inflammation with icing and anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDS)

(2) taping

(3) wearing of a more rigid shoe that limits excessive extension of the great toe


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