Strain or sprain of the interphalangeal joint of the big toe is usually caused by a sudden twisting or forceful movement of the joint. It can also occur due to a direct blow to the toe or a misstep on an uneven surface.
The diagnosis of a strain or sprain of the interphalangeal joint of the big toe is usually made based on the patient’s history, physical examination, and imaging studies. The patient may report pain and tenderness in the joint as well as swelling and discoloration. On examination, the joint may be swollen and painful to the touch. Imaging studies such as X-rays and MRI may be used to rule out other conditions such as fractures or ligament tears.
Other conditions that can cause pain in the interphalangeal joint of the big toe include arthritis, gout, stress fractures, and tendonitis.
Treatment for a strain or sprain of the interphalangeal joint of the big toe typically consists of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. Physical therapy may be recommended to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair torn ligaments or tendons.
The prognosis for a strain or sprain of the interphalangeal joint of the big toe is usually good with proper treatment. Most patients will experience full recovery with no long-term effects.