What Is A Plantar Plate Tear?

Friday, February 01, 2013

The plantar plate is a ligament. It holds the toe in place and brings the toe back to its place after the foot pushes off when running or walking.

Sometimes this ligament can become stretched or even tear, which leads to a dislocation of the toe. The plantar plate tear can be caused by overuse or an injury to the toe or joint. If the tear is caused by overuse, the ligament will give out over time. Mild cases may have no visible deformity, but symptoms may include pain on the ball of the foot, pain in the joint of the toe, and/or a feeling that there is not enough cushioning between the bone and the ground.

As the condition progresses, the toe will shift upwards and to one side. It will be even more painful once the toe is elevated because it will put more pressure on the head of the metatarsal. This condition will only get worse over time and can lead to arthritis, so if you believe you are suffering from a plantar plate tear it is important to see a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

If caught early enough, orthotics may help in treating a plantar plate tear. Taking pressure off the injured area is usually the best option. Shoe changes may also be recommended.

Treatment at your podiatrist’s office may include a cortisone injection, taping or padding, oral medications, and/or custom orthotics.

For more information, you can watch What Are The Best Shoe Inserts and The Perfect Shoe Selection along with many other educational videos on various foot and ankle problems on the Neuhaus Foot and Ankle YouTube Channel.
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