Your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your toe. He or she may order an x-ray to be sure you did not break your toe. Turf toe can sometimes look like gout, a type of arthritis of the big toe. Your provider may order tests to be sure you do not have gout.
Footwear: Throughout the past several decades, football shoes have evolved from the traditional 7-cleat shoe containing a metal plate in the sole designed for grass surfaces, to a more flexible soccer-style shoe designed for grass surfaces, and finally to shoes designed for artificial turf.
These changes in shoe type have allowed increased speed at the expense of stability. The absence of a stiff sole places the forefoot, and specifically the MTP joints, at much greater risk for stress-type injuries. Athletes wearing flexible turf shoes are much more prone to injury than those wearing shoes containing a stiff forefoot. Synthetic surfaces: Artificial grass contains a higher coefficient of friction and tends to lose some of its resiliency and shock absorbency over time.
The combination of increased surface friction and a hard undersurface is believed to play a major role in the natural history of the injury. A higher coefficient of friction places the forefoot at greater risk to become fixed to the playing surface. Thus, the forefoot becomes more prone to an external force that places the hallux MTP joint in a position of extreme dorsiflexion.
Ankle range of motion: The risk for turf toe appears to be related to the range of ankle motion in those injured. A greater degree of ankle dorsiflexion has been correlated with the risk for hyperextension to the first MTP joint.