What is a plantar plate tear?

The plantar plate is a ligament plantar to the joints at the base of the toes in the feet. A plantar plate tear occurs when there's a smaller tear in that ligament. Up until recently this disorder could have been called metatarsalgia, but that was a rather generic term for virtually every pain in the feet associated with the metatarsals. As more become understood with regards to the anatomy of the forefoot and the role of the anatomy in numerous painful conditions the phrases plantar plate dysfunction and plantar pate tear become better identified to describe this problem. The condition usually begins with an ache underneath the metatarsal head in the foot that comes on gradually. Later it may be fairly painful to the touch. In some instances, the toe could become raised because the tear will mean that the ligament has difficulties holding the toe plantarflexed that is one of the functions of this ligament. An ultrasound examination can be used to confirm the diagnosis of a plantar plate tear .

The main cause of this condition is not clear but it relates to too much use and overstretching of the plantar plate. Several foot types also seem to have this more often. The usual first treatment for a plantar plate tear is commonly strapping to hold the toe lower to alleviate the strain on the plantar plate which has the tear. A metatarsal pad is often utilized as well or as opposed to the taping to help reduce force on that ligament. Sometimes cushioning to offload the sore region may give a great deal of comfort. In addition, a inflexible soled footwear may be used to further stop the toe from bending can also be combined with the above. Often, this treatment should be utilized for at least several months to find out if it will help. Commonly, this is useful in the majority of cases. Nevertheless, when it isn't going to help, then surgical solutions really need to be considered to mend the tear.