The plantar plate is a region beneath the metatarsal heads in the foot at the base of the joint capsule that surrounds the metatarsophalangeal joints of the smaller toes. The plantar plate is a tough ligament structure which offers stableness for the metatarsophalangeal joints and also is a connection region of various other ligaments which encircle these joints. Sometimes that strong ligament can get overused, which usually gets termed plantar plate dysfunction. In some cases it will develop into a little split inside the ligament and can become quite debilitating to walk on. This is whats called a 'plantar plate tear'. It is a reasonably prevalent orthopedic injury of the foot.
In most cases, it really is painful under and in front of the metatarsal joints to walk on and when the region is touched firmly. When weight bearing the toe of the affected metatarsophalangeal joint is usually somewhat raised. There are some specialized checks or motions that health professionals will do to the toe to evaluate the stability, biomechanics and strength of the plantar plate and to establish precisely how bad the partial tear can be. The reason for a plantar plate tear isn't generally really evident, but there are a variety of risk factors that do enhance the possibility of having it, however mainly it is due to an excessive amount of use with a lot of flexing of the joint. A bizarre discomfort that quite a few with this disorder explain can be a sense of their own sock crunched up beneath the toes, however when they check out it is not.
The easiest way to deal with a plantar plate tear will be to get the diagnosis correct. It is obvious clinically. An ultrasound examination may be used to decide the extent of your split and confirm the diagnosis. The typical primary therapy strategy is to apply tape for a plantar plate tear that is designed to hold the joint in a plantarflexed position to limit the quantity of flexing of your toe when walking. A metatarsal dome that could be positioned just posterior to the sore joint could also be helpful to help alleviate the load. A firmer or less flexible soled shoes or footwear having a rocker could also be used that can help reduce the stresses on the toe. When this is done right, this plantar plate tear will frequently heal up after a while. If this won't work then a surgical repair with the tear can be indicated.