The star receiver of the Atlanta Falcons has been in the news a lot lately – or rather, his toe has. Julio Jones hasn’t played a football game since December 4, when he sat out during the last minutes of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and then was diagnosed with turf toe.
Julio said at the time that it’s just part of the game. “I’m OK,” he said. “I’ll be good to go.” But turf toe is a tough injury that can take time to heal, so when he’ll be good to go remains to be seen. It could be weeks.
What is turf toe?
Turf toe is an injury to the soft tissue surrounding the big toe joint. It’s a toe sprain that happens when
the big toe joint is extended beyond its normal range, sometimes by repetitive movement and sometimes from a sudden jamming or jarring of the toe against a surface. It happens a lot when playing on artificial turf, but this type of injury affects more than football and soccer players. Because of the type of movements that their sports require, dancers, gymnasts, and wrestlers are other examples of athletes who suffer from turf toe.
This kind of toe sprain causes pain and swelling, and sometimes an audible “pop” at the time of injury. Our patients at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists who’ve had turf toe will tell you that it severely limits the range of motion of their toe. And it hurts a lot!
Diagnosing turf toe
Chandra L. Day-Houts, DPM and Heidi Christie, DPM, the experienced podiatrists at our practice in Montgomery, AL, will start with a visual exam of your toe. Other tests such as an xray or MRI might be necessary to rule out broken bones and to firmly diagnose turf toe.
Most cases won’t need surgery, but will heal with the aid of
- shoe padding
- strapping or taping to immobilize the joint
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- steroid injections
- physical therapy
- an orthotic device
The Falcons’ coaching staff and medical team are watching Julio Jones week-to-week, and we can only assume he’s receiving the proper treatment and will be playing football soon. If you’re having any issues with your big toe, get back in the game as soon as possible by calling us at (334) 396-3668. Call us today or make an appointment online.