Turf toe usually involves an activity on a firm surface, and is most common in football. The recent popularity of using artificial turf over natural turf is part of the reason for the rise in cases. A force applied to the calf muscle while the knee is flexed is another cause of turf toe.
“The injury is primarily mechanical in nature and so is the treatment. Putting the foot in a more rigid shoe or an orthotic device will avoid further injury,” said Dr. Joseph DiFrancesca, a Norwich podiatrist who treats many athletes with turf toe. He also thinks careful selection of athletic shoes with a rigid shank will reduce injury rates.