Plantar Plate Dysfunction


Plantar Plate Dysfunction

The plantar plate is the strong supporting ligament structure under the ball of the foot. This thick structure provides stability to the toe, cushioning and protects the metatarsal from pressure and injury.

Plantar plate dysfunction (plantar plate tear, plantar plate injury) is a common cause of pain in the ball of the foot, although it’s a condition many people haven’t heard of.

Injury to the plantar plate is typically due to overuse.

* Commonly associated with bunion or hammer toe deformity – which can cause abnormal forefoot loading

* Over-pronation or larger 2nd metatarsal length can also contribute to abnormal loading of plantar plate

* Certain footwear; such as, high heels can increase pressure on the second toe

* Additionally some sports, repetitive injury or a single traumatic event can a cause plantar plate injury

What does it feel like?

* Plantar plate injuries can cause pain in ball of the foot, most commonly under the 2nd metatarsal. Typically this pain is localised to an area and generally gets worse the longer you stand on your feet.

* Can be described as a dull ache or a sharp pain

* ‘Walking on bones’ sensation

* Swelling and redness can sometimes occur under or on top of the forefoot

* The toe may even deviate slightly, splay and/or claw (a hammertoe)

* Toe not touching the ground when standing

What should you do?

* Treatment depends on the stage of plantar plate dysfunction and symptoms

* An appropriate treatment plan can be provided by your podiatrist

* Avoid high heels and tight shoes

* Ant-inflammatory (topical or oral)

* Ice for swelling and pain

* Padding or taping for relief

* Footwear advice

* Orthotic treatment to alleviate pressure and provide support

* Debridement of callouses by your podiatrist can provide further symptom relief

* Surgery


Contact our friendly team for help if you suffer from forefoot pain. Call us on 1300 847 226 or book an appointment online.

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