Turf toe

Turf toe is a sprain of the largest joint of your big toe.  

Read more about turf toe and how it is such a dreaded injury in the NFL

What is it?

This injury is also known as Sesamoiditis and involves two small bones under the foot near the big toe. They are called "sesamoid" bones. They aren't directly connected to other bones of the foot. Instead, the sesamoids are embedded in tendons. With sesamoiditis, these bones and the tendons around them become irritated and inflamed.

What causes it?

Sesamoiditis (turf toe) is an overuse injury. It's caused by repeated stress. It can be a problem for dancers and runners. It's also a problem for baseball catchers because they put constant pressure on the sesamoids when they squat. 

Signs & symptoms

Sesamoiditis causes pain in the ball of your foot. It can develop gradually, or it can happen suddenly. You may have swelling, bruising and trouble moving your big toe. Your pain may come and go. 


Treatment options include rest, medications, cushioning pads and taping your big toe. You may benefit from a leg brace and from physical therapy. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you. 

The Foot & Ankle Center at Andrews Sports Medicine provides the most-advanced, comprehensive treatment solutions for injuries and disorders of the foot & ankle. To schedule an appointment, call (205) 939-3699.

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