The plantar plate is a ligament under the joints at the base of the toes in the feet. A plantar plate tear is when there is a little tear in this ligament. Previously this disorder could have been termed metatarsalgia, however that was a pretty generic word for any pain in the feet related to the metatarsals. When more become known concerning the anatomy of the foot and the role of the structure in various painful disorders the phrases plantar plate dysfunction and plantar pate tear become better understood to refer to this condition. The disorder usually starts off with a discomfort underneath the metatarsal head in the foot that comes on slowly. Later on it usually is very painful to touch. In some instances, the toe could become raised since the tear suggests that the ligament has difficulties holding the toe plantarflexed which is one of the purposes of that plantar plate. An ultrasound investigation are often used to establish the diagnosis.
The cause of this condition is not apparent however it is related to too much use and overstretching of the plantar plate. Several foot types also seem to have this more often. The typical primary treatment for a plantar plate tear is frequently taping to hold the toe down to alleviate the load on the ligament which has the tear. A metatarsal pad is frequently utilized as well or rather than the strapping to further relieve force on that plantar plate. Sometimes padding to offload the sore area can give lots of relief. Furthermore, a stiff soled footwear may be used to further stop the toe from dorsiflexing could also be included with the above mentioned. Normally, this treatment has to be utilized for a minimum of a couple of months to see if it can help. Frequently, this is successful in nearly all cases. However, if it doesn't help, then surgical options have to be considered to repair the rupture.