In 1976, Bowers and Martin coined the term “turf toe” in the literature in response to the increasing injuries to the great toe joint being seen by athletes playing on new artificial surfaces and playing in lighter and more flexible shoes.1,2 The term classically describes a first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) ligament sprain, commonly seen in field-related sports.1-8 This malady can be an undertreated and oversimplified athletic injury of the great toe joint. Unfortunately, many times, any injury to the great toe joint that occurs during a sporting event is erroneously termed turf toe. Often a complete and systematic evaluation of all the structures of the great toe joint is not performed. A differential exam may be performed and injuries other than to the ligamentous supports may be appreciated but all are still coined turf toe. Some authors recommend reserving the term only when injuries to other structures (i.e., muscle, tendon, metatarsal, cartilage, sesamoids, etc.) are not involved and the injury to the great toe joint is purely ligamentous.1.
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