It’s bad enough that Altanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones was part of what’s being described as the worst Super Bowl chokes in history during Sunday night’s epic loss to the New England Patriots…but now the news is getting even worse.
Instead of heading to Disneyland (or at least a ticker tape parade in Boston), reports are emerging that the star player will need off-season foot surgery.
While Jones is known to have been dealing with a sprained ankle, that is not, apparently, the issue that requires surgical repair. According to NFL.com: “If Jones needs surgery, the procedure to fix torn ligaments associated with turf toe will be measured in months but not expected to delay his 2017 season.”
“Turf toe” is a term used to describe a sprain of the big toe that results from athletic activity. It can be caused by excessive upward bending of the big toe joint, usually due to jamming or to pushing off for a run or jump. While the injury is most common in football players like Jones, any athlete that plays on hard surfaces like turf or gym floors—hello, basketball players and gymnasts—can be susceptible.
Typically, RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) can cause symptoms like pain, swelling and limited joint movement to subside. If, however, the athlete continues the repetitive motions that caused the initial injury, damage may progress to the point that surgery is required.
The key to diagnosing and treating turf toe before it requires surgical repair is taking note of symptoms during their earliest appearance—with this condition, typically, symptoms appear and progress slowly.If you’ve noticed pain in your big toe after athletic activity, it’s worth being examined by your podiatrist. X-rays and advanced imaging are usually involved in diagnosing turf toe, especially in order to rule out a broken bone, so this is the time of pain you certainly wouldn’t want to walk off or self-treat at home.