The plantar plate is a location underneath the bottom of the feet on the bottom of the joint capsule that surrounds the joints of the smaller toes. It is a strong ligament structure which offers firmness for the metatarsophalangeal joints and also acts as a connection region of other ligaments that surrounds the joint. Occasionally this thickened ligament will get overused, which typically gets termed plantar plate dysfunction. At times it may develop into a modest split in the plantar plate and may come to be rather uncomfortable simply to walk on. This is called a 'plantar plate tear'. It is a moderately frequent musculoskeletal condition of the foot.
Typically, it is actually 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 sometimes a little raised. There are a few particular tests or motions that clinicians can do on the toe to test the integrity, function and durability of the plantar plate and also to decide precisely how bad the partial tear is actually. The main cause of a plantar plate tear is not usually very apparent, but there are numerous types of risk factors that do enhance the probability of getting it, however mainly it is due to a lot of use with a lot of dorsiflexion of the joint. An odd experience that quite a few due to this problem explain is a feelings of their sock crunched up underneath the toes, however when they look at its not.
The ideal way to deal with a plantar plate tear is to have the diagnosis accurate. It is obvious clinically. An ultrasound evaluation enables you to ascertain the extent of the rupture and ensure the diagnosis. The usual original therapy approach is by using taping for a plantar plate tear that's designed to hold the joint in a plantarflexed position to limit the amount of flexing of your toe when walking. A forefoot dome that may be placed just posterior to the sore region is usually useful to help minimize the stress. A stiffer or less flexible soled shoes or footwear having a rocker could also be used to help limit the strains on the toe. Assuming this is done correctly, this plantar plate tear will typically get better with time. In the event it does not help then an operative fix of the tear could be an option.