The Reason Podiatrists are Hypersensitive About Artificial Turf

No doubt you’re familiar with the describing word “hyper.” Kids can be hyperactive and co-workers (and spouses!) can be hypersensitive. So, “hyper” indicates an action that’s exaggerated, over the top, over and above the norm.

At Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, we sometimes treat patients who’ve hyper-extended their big toe. That hyperextension has a specific name – turf toe. With a turf toe injury, the joint at the base of the big toe is bent beyond what our anatomy can reasonably withstand. Soft tissues are overstretched sometimes to the point of tearing, either partially or fully. In addition, tiny bones in the joint, called sesamoids, can be pushed out of place or cracked.

“Turf toe” got its name because athletes who play on artificial turf are more likely to hyperextend their big toe than those who play on a natural surface, such as grass. In fact, wide receiver Tyrell Shavers of U Alabama’s Crimson Tide recently sustained a turf toe injury that’s going to bench him for the rest of 2018 spring training. The Crimson Tide home playing field?  You guessed it: artificial turf.

Treatment for turf toe

Shavers’ unfortunate encounter with artificial turf required surgery, but thankfully that’s not terribly common. Our podiatrists have years of experience treating turf toe through conservative methods such as

  • rest and elevation
  • icing
  • taping
  • anti-inflammatory medication
  • orthotics

If you’re an athlete with a suspected toe injury – swelling, bruising, and pain at the base of the big toe – especially if your symptoms follow a game on artificial turf- make an appointment right away with Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts or Dr. Heidi M. Christie. If you walk, run, and play sports with untreated turf toe, it’s not likely to heal well and your big toe will continue to suffer well into the future.

Seek expert treatment at our office in Montgomery, Alabama. We open at 7:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday for your convenience. Call us at (334) 396-3668 or contact us online.