The plantar plate is an area plantar to the metatarsal heads in the foot on the base of the joint capsule that surrounds the joints of the smaller toes. The plantar plate is a robust ligament plate that gives firmness to the metatarsophalangeal joints and also serves as a connection area of other ligaments that are all around the joint. At times that powerful ligament could possibly get overused, which generally gets termed plantar plate dysfunction. At times this might progress into a little split within the ligament and may become quite uncomfortable simply to walk on. This is called a 'plantar plate tear'. It is a reasonably common musculoskeletal condition of the foot.
Typically, it is painful plantar to and just distal to the metatarsal joints to walk on and also when the spot is palpated. When weight bearing the toe of the affected joint is generally a little raised. There are several particular examinations or movements that podiatrists is able to do to the toe to evaluate the stability, biomechanics and durability of the plantar plate and also to determine just how extensive the partial tear is. The main cause of a plantar plate tear is not generally that clear, but there are a number of risk elements that do increase the risks of having it, however mostly it is as a result of a lot of use with excessive dorsiflexion of the toe. An unusual feeling that a few due to this concern express can be a sense of their own sock bunched up below the toes, but when they check its not.
The obvious way to treat a plantar plate tear is to have the diagnosis right. It is obvious clinically. An ultrasound test could be used to determine the magnitude with the rupture and confirm the diagnosis. The typical initial treatment strategy is by using taping for a plantar plate tear that's made to hold the joint in a downward posture to limit the amount of dorsiflexion of the joint when walking. A metatarsal pad that may be positioned just behind the uncomfortable location will also be necessary to help lessen the strain. A stiffer or less flexible soled footwear or shoes that has a rocker can also be used to help limit the forces on the joint. If this can be done properly, this plantar plate tear will frequently get better with time. In the event it doesn't improve it then a surgical procedure of the partial tear is usually considered.