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What is the plantar plate in the foot?

The plantar plate is a ligament underneath the joints at the base of the toes in the foot. A plantar plate tear happens when there is a smaller tear in that ligament. In the past this disorder has been referred to as metatarsalgia, but that was a fairly generic term for virtually every pain in the foot associated with the metatarsals. When more come to be understood concerning the anatomy of the foot and the role of the anatomy in numerous painful disorders the phrases plantar plate dysfunction and plantar pate tear become better identified to describe this condition. The condition frequently starts with an ache under the metatarsal head in the foot which comes on gradually. Later on it is usually very painful when pressed on. Sometimes, the toe may perhaps become elevated because the tear means that the ligament has difficulty holding the toe plantarflexed which is one of the purposes of that plantar plate. An ultrasound assessment can be used to check the diagnosis.

The main cause of this disorder is just not apparent but it relates to excessive use and overstretching of the plantar plate. Several foot types also seem to have this more frequently. The usual first solution for a plantar plate tear is normally taping to hold the toe down to decrease the stress on the plantar plate which has the tear. A metatarsal pad is frequently used as well or rather than the strapping to further alleviate stress on that plantar plate. Sometimes padding to offload the painful spot can give a lot of relief. Furthermore, a inflexible soled shoe can be used to even more prevent the toe from bending can certainly be added to the above. Generally, this treatment has to be utilized for a minimum of a few months to see if it will help. Typically, this is very effective in nearly all cases. However, when it will not help, then surgical solutions need to be considered to repair the rupture.