Posted on Feb 08, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was suffering from turf toe as he headed into Superbowl 2021.  He has been wearing an orthotic to treat the pain and plans to get surgery in the off season. The injury hadn’t caused many issues for Mahomes in previous games, but with the biggest game of his career, it’s easy to wonder if this injury could have played a part in the Chief’s loss.

Turf toe is an inflammation of the big toe joint. If he needs surgery it’s probably due to a condition known as hallux limitus, which just means he has a limited range of motion at the big toe joint with possible spurring at the joint.  

Hallux limitus is the most common form of arthritis in the foot. It is frequently seen in athletes due to the stress that is repetitively put on the great (big) toe. Football, basketball and soccer are sports that are known to cause extra stress on the big toe.

Symptoms of hallux limitus include swelling, pain and limited motion in the joint of the big toe. If you are feeling numbness or tingling in the toe or having trouble flexing your big toe, you could be experiencing hallux limitus and just like Mahomes, you should visit a foot specialist. The surgery Mahomes will have will probably include having that joint cleaned out with removal of any spurs.

While turf toe is not considered a major injury, it can be a major problem for a quarterback playing the most important game of his career. Mahomes needed to be in peak physical fitness for the game and having a stiff big toe could have compromised his ability to run, make quick turns or sprint off his feet.

Whether you were rooting for Kansas City or Tampa Bay, we can all agree that foot health is vital in being the best athlete you can be. Foot injuries are so common in athletes and can effect their ability to be the best at their sport.

If you are an athlete dealing with foot or ankle pain, you should see your podiatrist regularly. Your podiatrist can help prevent and treat all foot and ankle injuries and pain. They are your foot care expert. Our doctors treat athletes of all ages and levels in our office. From pee wee soccer to collegiate athletes, our doctors will make sure you are playing your best