Designated to Return: QB Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is having surgery on Wednesday. He is having Turf Toe Surgery. Having initially injured his great toe against the Cleveland Browns in the Divisional Playoff round, January 17th.

He held off surgery and just underwent extensive treatment until the end of the playoff run. During the Super Bowl, Tony Romo even mentioned how in Mahomes’ cleats, he had a special carbon fiber foot plate to assist with his injury.

So what is “Turf Toe?” It is a “hyperextension” sprain of the metatarsophalangeal joint, when the Big toe/Great toe is involved, it receives the special moniker “Turf Toe.” The injury usually occurs from being forcibly hyperextended and to some degree damaging the plantar complex.

  1. Plantar Plate: thick fibrous tissue on the underside of the metatarsophalangeal joint that helps prevent over extension.
  2. Collateral Ligaments: ligaments on the sides of the metatarsophalangeal joint that help prevent side to side movement of the proximal phalange on the distal end of the metatarsal
  3. Flexor Hallucis Brevis Muscle Tendon: muscle tendon that attaches on proximal phalange and crosses the metatarsophalangeal joint that assists in controlling the joint during push-off.
  4. Two Sesamoid Bones: embedded in the flexor hallucis brevis tendon, they provide a mechanical advantage to allow the muscle to move easier.

They had been known to occur more on turf surfaces or surface that did not have much give and were harder playing surfaces.

The metatarsophalangeal joint is made up of the metatarsal bone (long bone) and the proximal phalange of each toe. It is a condyloid joint which allows for flexion extension, abduction, and adduction movements.

Damage to the Plantar complex are based off a Grade I, II, or III.

  • Grade I: Stretch with tenderness
  • Grade II: Slight tearing with tenderness, swelling. Toe movement is limited and painful.
  • Grade III: Complete tear with tenderness, swelling, bruising, pain. Toe movement painful and active and passive movement is painful. High instability of the MTP joint.
  • Grade III: Must also assess to make sure that fractures did not occur.

With Patrick Mahomes undergoing surgery Wednesday, he has a Grade III Turf toe injury. Also reported from several NFL outlets. While complete rehab can take up to 6 months, one still has to account the time he is also going to need to prepare his body for the upcoming 2021-2022 NFL Season. I don’t believe he is going to miss any regular season games, but one could certainly expect him to be limited through training camp has he continues to progress through his rehabilitation to be ready for another long NFL season and an expected Super Bowl run.

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