The plantar plate is a ligament within the joints for the base of the toes in the foot. A plantar plate tear is when we have a smaller tear in that ligament. Previously this problem may have been named metatarsalgia, however that is a pretty generic name for almost any pain in the feet related to the metatarsals. As more come to be known regarding the anatomy in the area and the role of the anatomy in various painful disorders the words plantar plate dysfunction and plantar pate tear become better identified to explain this condition. The problem commonly begins with mild pain under the metatarsal head in the foot that comes on gradually. Later on it can be pretty painful to touch. In some cases, the toe could become lifted up as the tear will mean that the ligament has difficulty holding the toe down which is one of the purposes of this plantar plate. An ultrasound assessment are often used to establish the diagnosis.
The cause of this condition isn't clear but it relates to overuse and overstretching of the ligament. Some foot types also seem to get this more often. The typical first solution for a plantar plate tear is normally strapping to keep the toe lower to reduce the stress on the plantar plate which has the tear. A metatarsal pad is frequently used as well or instead of the taping to help ease stress on that ligament. Occasionally cushioning to offload the sore region can give a great deal of relief. Additionally, a rigid soled shoe may be used to further stop the toe from dorsiflexing could also be combined with the above. Usually, this treatment must be utilized for at least a couple of months to see if it will help. In general, this is very effective in most cases. Nonetheless, when it does not help, then surgical solutions have to be considered to fix the tear.