How to manage a plantar plate tear?

The plantar plate is a fibrous like structure which is situated on the bottom side of the metatarsophalangeals (toe) joints of the foot. Biologically these are similar to the meniscus within the knee which means these are designed to withstand a lot of compressive forces and support the joint surfaces. It is just a a thickening of the underside of the capsule which is all around that joint to help keep the joint fluid inside the joint. Almost all of the fibers inside it are oriented longitudinally in the same path as the foot points, so it will be able to withstand lots of tension forces. The collateral ligaments on both edges of the joint additionally attach to the plantar plate, to help provide the joint improved stability. The function of the plantar plate is to support the weight of the body and limits dorsiflexion at the metatarsophalangeal joint.

Since this plantar plate is made to tolerate those great forces, in some cases the forces may be so high or the tissues is weakened for several possible reasons, it can become painful or even have a little tear in it. This isn't usually a thing that occurs quickly and builds up gradually with time. The pain is typically on weightbearing beneath the joint at the bottom of the toe. Palpation of this place is mostly rather painful. Frequently the diagnosis might be verified by having an ultrasound assessment. Previously the signs and symptoms might have just been written off as a metatarsalgia which isn't really a diagnosis and just signifies pain across the metatarsals. Now a lot more is understood regarding this plantar plate and just how it makes symptoms, the treatment could be far better focused to fix it. The main element to repairing this problem is to relieve stress on the plantar plate and to do this the toe must be kept in a plantarflexed placement with strapping. This usually takes care of most cases.