At a Glance –
Player: Kendrick Bourne
Position: Wide receiver
Team: New England Patriots
Injury: Turf Toe
Projected Recovery Time: 1-4 weeks
The Pats have had a bit of a slow start this year, struggling in their division and suffering losses in some close games. Their offense was able to get something going yesterday with their win over the Browns, but one of their more notable playmakers, Kendrick Bourne, left the game after a few snaps. Reports confirmed Bourne sustained “turf toe”, an injury to the ligaments of the toe joint caused by hyperextension of the big toe during push off. This injury got its name because of its increase in frequency as artificial turf became more popular and preferable to typical grass fields, and it is very common in the NFL. Turf toe can develop gradually or result from a sudden injury, and symptoms include limited toe range of motion, joint swelling, and pain. The ligaments are essential for weight transfer on your foot, allowing you to propel yourself forward during walking, running, and jumping. The severity of the ligament sprains dictates a person’s activity levels, and a complete rupture often requires surgical correction.
Details have not been released on the severity of Bourne’s injury, though it does not seem to be severe. It is likely he sustained a Grade I or II injury, meaning mild to moderate ligament damage, and does not require surgery. Bourne’s PT team will be working closely with him to monitor his symptoms and help him return to play without reaggravating his symptoms. Bourne will likely have high pain levels immediately after injury, and he will follow POLICE guidelines (Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to help decrease those pain levels. Symptoms can easily be re-aggravated so great care will be taken to offload Bourne’s foot with proper footwear; more flexible shoes put more stress on the ligaments vs
rigid shoes that do not allow for as much movement at the toe joint. Higher level exercises will be held to allow for the injury to heal and to protect the joint, and ice, compression, and elevation will help with inflammation and pain control. After symptoms improve, Bourne will work with his PT team to improve toe joint range of motion. If the joint itself is stiff, it has to sustain greater stress as there is less range for a force to disperse through, and correcting that limitation will help prevent re-injury. Lower leg and foot muscle strengthening will also help offload the toe joint. It is unclear whether Bourne will be able to play this upcoming week – the Pats are playing under Monday’s lights, so he has one extra day to get ready.
In this video, the 3DPT demonstrates a few exercises that could be incorporated into a rehab program for turf toe.
Early Stage: Resisted Plantar flexion with Big Toe Flexion
Late Stage: Eccentric squat on toes
Return to Sport: Resisted Running
Categorized as: 2022 NFL Blog