Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen Out with Turf Toe

Notre Dame’s prize quarterback, Jimmy Clausen was injured Saturday in a game against Michigan State. Clausen, who is ranked second in the nation for pass efficiency, is reported to be suffering from “turf toe” and has been seen walking around campus in a protective boot.

Turf toe is actually an injury to the base of the big toe, right at the joint where the first toe meets the foot bone, called the metatarsal phalangeal joint. It occurs when the big toe gets hyperextended and the capsule around the joint is injured (see diagrams below). It is called turf toe because it tends to happen more frequently when players (usually football or soccer are playing on artificial turf. Symptoms include pain and swelling at the joint. X-rays will be negative for fractures. Treatment consists primarily of rest, ice, protection of the area, and over the counter pain medications.

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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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