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A plantar plate tear – so what is that I hear you ask – great question.

The plantar plate is a cartilage structure that helps stabilise the toes and aims to reduce the amount of force that goes through the metatarsal heads (which make up the ‘ball’ of your feet). As the plantar plate is formed from cartilage it can easily tear or rupture when injured.

Factors which can contribute to plantar plate tears:

  • Digital deformity by contributing to stretching of the structure and increased pressure from the metatarsal head (such as a hammertoe)
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Degeneration with age and/or a previous injury
  • High heeled footwear as this increases forefoot pressure
  • Structural anomalies
  • Sports and activities which place higher forces through the ball of the foot

Plantar plate tear or rupture commonly coincide with chronic forefoot pain, which is often described as a ‘lump’ or ‘bruised’ sensation. Particularly if the plantar plate is ruptured, the respective affected toe can often sit up (hammered position) and can feel loose in the joint capsule due to the reduced stabilisation of the toe.

Fact! – It is quite common to have more than one affected toe!

Management of a plantar plate tear or rupture can differ from case to often – this often begins with conservative means of strapping, padding, offloading and orthotics to help realign the affected toe.

If you are having trouble with forefoot pain don’t hesitate in seeking treatment from a podiatrist. In this case we recommend to call the clinic for an appointment (60245577) with one of our amazing experienced podiatrists today!