What are the symptoms of a torn tendon in the big toe?

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If an individual has a torn tendon in the big toe, it can result to turf toe. This occurs due to excessive bending of the big toe in an upward manner. A torn tendon in the big toe can also be due to stubbing of the big toe, spraining of the toe or can occur along with fracture of the big toe. The torn tendon in the big toe is sore and causes various symptoms that you should be familiar with. It is best to consult a doctor if the individual experiences persistent toe or foot pain so that appropriate measures can be given right away.


The individual can experience pain in the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint as well as along the big toe and the first metatarsal bone. The pain will likely manifest beneath the foot and can be noticeable when the individual bears weight. The pain also has the tendency to radiate to other parts of the foot. The doctor might recommend pain relief by taking an anti-inflammatory medication, application of ice on the affected toe and avoid using the affected foot.

Torn tendon in big toe
The individual can experience pain in the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint as well as along the big toe and the first metatarsal bone.


The individual will also experience swelling along the big toe and also along the metatarsal bone. The swelling can either be mild or severe depending on the extent of the damage on the tendons. As a first aid measure, the swelling can be treated by applying ice to the injury for about 20 minutes at a time for 3-4 times in a day. The doctor might recommend anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling around the tendons.

Diminished range of motion

The swelling and pain in the big toe joint can reduce the range of motion. The individual will experience difficulty bending the toe or stretching it up towards to the body. The range of motion will increase as the pain and swelling reduces. The doctor will prescribe physical therapy exercise to help increase the range of motion as the individual recovers from the tendon injury. Exercises usually include writing the alphabet using the big toe, walking on the toes or picking up objects using the toes.

Difficulty while walking

Pain, limited range of motion and swelling can make weight bearing a difficult task. It is important to note that the joint in the big toe is a weight bearing joint in the body that flexes and bends while moving. If the individual severely injured the tendon in the big toe, walking can cause a lot of pain. The individual can walk with a limp or might not be able to put any weight on the foot. In such cases, the doctor will immobilize the foot and prescribe the use of crutches or a walking assistive device to help promote healing of the toe joint.

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