Plantar Plate Pain

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Your plantar plate is a ligament that connects your toes at the metatarsal bones to the sole of your foot. It keeps your toes from moving around too much and helps prevent them from overextension. When this plate becomes torn it can be very painful and debilitating. This injury can occur from overuse, and also shows up frequently in younger athletes.


Symptoms of a plantar plate tear:

Depending upon the severity of the injury, the symptoms of a plantar plate tear can range from a sharp pain to a milder aching sensation in the ball of your foot. There may be considerable swelling and redness on the top of the foot. The torn ligament can also cause a shifting of the second or third toes toward the big toe, which can increase the pain and bruising that occurs to the bone. It can feel like you are walking around without any cushioning under your toes.


Diagnosis and treatment:

This injury has many of the same symptoms as other problems that can occur in this part of the foot, including neuromas, capsulitis, and hammertoes, so it is very important to have your podiatrist perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the precise cause. Imaging studies may be necessary to see the extent of the deformity and to determine if any arthritis is exacerbating the problem. Early detection may allow correction through conservative treatments such as wearing a rigid boot, and by using custom fitted orthotic inserts to reduce the pressure on the ball of the foot.


If the ligaments have been stretched excessively, a surgical repair may be necessary to move the toe back into position and to provide complete pain relief.


If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, contact your foot care specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuries, pediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.