The plantar plate is a thick ligament which attaches each metatarsal to the base of the toe bones. This plate is designed to stop the over extension of our toes, however when the plate is overloaded or stained a tear may occur. So, how do we know if we are at risk of this injury?

The symptoms of a Plantar Plate tear

Plantar plate tears commonly present as pain under the ball of the foot that extends towards the toe, however there are some other symptoms. These include;

  • Toes bend upwards
  • Swelling on the top of the foot
  • Redness at the top of the foot
  • Two toes have separated causing a splaying between the toes
  • Numbness to the web of the toes

What causes a Plantar Plate tear?

A plantar plate tear often occurs over time with repetitive strain to the area. However, these are the most common causes;

  • Over-pronation (feet roll inwards)
  • Having a bunion or hammertoe
  • A long second metatarsal bone
  • Participating in dancing or running – sports that put excessive pressure on the ball of the feet
  • Individuals biomechanics, including abnormalities of the toe lengths

How is it treated?

Your Podiatrist will assess your feet and identify the contributing factors to your plantar plate tear. Treatment may include;

  • Strapping the toes
  • Adjusting your footwear
  • Advise you to avoid certain activities
  • Offload padding to area to reduce pressure
  • Custom-made Orthotics

A plantar plate tear is an injury that can become chronic, however if treated early you can avoid it progressing.

Moreland Podiatry

If you have any concerns about the development of symptoms similar to plantar plate tear, please feel free to visit our friendly team at Moreland Podiatry.

You can book an appointment online or call our office on (03) 9383 6633 today.


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