Teen Foot Care: 3 Things To Know About Turf Toe

Turf toe is a dirty word on high school football fields because it has been known to take out even the top players with nary a hint of warning before the big pain strikes. This condition is generally caused by a sudden or repeated application of force on the big toe that can occur when an athlete or performer pushes off of their toe frequently such as a ballerina taking a posture or jams it repeatedly while kicking a ball. Simply put, it is a sprain that occurs around the ligaments of the big toe that requires special care for healing. As you deal with your teenager's injury, use this information to ensure they have the best prospects for long-term healing.

Make Sure Its Turf Toe

Foot disorders are challenging to diagnose since they tend to have many overlaps regarding symptoms. For this reason, it is important to take your teen to a foot clinic that has the equipment and knowledge necessary, like Elkhorn Foot and Ankle Clinic PLLC, to rule out other conditions such as a broken toe or bunion. Making sure that you don't waste time treating the wrong injury is the only way to ensure complete healing.

Know the Potential for Long-Term Harm

Sometimes, walking it off is not only foolish, but it can cause your teen to end up with a long-term disability. Untreated turf toe can lead to misaligned bones and ligaments in the toe that eventually turn into arthritis. In severe cases, your child could develop hallux rigidus, which is an arthritic condition that limits the toe's range of motion and interferes with walking. Therefore, it's better to be safe than sorry anytime your child complains of toe pain.

Get Tough About the Treatment Plan

Mild cases of turf toe are treated with non-invasive methods that may include applying ice and heat, prescribing anti-inflammatories and lots of rest. For teenage athletes, this is often where the biggest problem lies since those energetic teens may rebel against staying off their feet. If you know that your teen will balk at having to walk, then talk to their podiatry physician about immobilization such as a walking boot or cast.

When teens follow the plan, most cases of turf toe heal within a few weeks. Until then, give your kid the best chances for healing by making sure to promptly respond to foot pain since early treatment is the key to preventing long-term disabilities