What is a tear of the plantar plate?

A plantar plate tear is a pretty prevalent problem that creates pain underneath the ball of the feet. It is considered the end phase of a strain on the ligament underneath the joint that progresses to a tear when there is no treatment done. The main cause of this condition is simply overuse. If that ligament beneath the joint get used too much with high activity levels, it will initially come to be painful and then progress to a tear. The symptoms are usually underneath and in front of the metatarsal head underneath the ball of the foot. They are made worse with larger amounts of exercise.

The simplest way to treat a plantar plate tear is by using taping to hold the toe in a plantarflexed placement hence the strain is taken off the ligament and it is given an opportunity to get better. It is usually a bit annoying to keep strapping the toe daily that may take several months to fully get better. Because of this, there are a variety of different types of braces which they can use. They might be not quite as beneficial as the strapping, but they will be more than effective if taping may be used during the early stages. This will likely need to be continued for a few months to have a good outcome. Insoles in the shoes with metatarsal domes may also be used to help secure the toe plantarflexed. If standing is uncomfortable, then pads on the insole enable you to keep weight of the painful place and at least that will make it tolerable while healing takes place. Usually this can help. From time to time some anti-inflammatory medicines and also the use of ice may be needed if a plantar plate tear gets too painful may be required. If this strategy does not work, then surgical treatments have to be considered to mend the tear, but most cases of a plantar plate tear do heal on their own.

What is a plantar plate tear?

Metatarsalgia is a widely used phrase that does not mean much. The metatarsals include the long bones behind the toes in the feet and the suffix -algia signifies pain, so metatarsalgia simply means pain in the metatarsals region. This really is somewhat useless as a diagnosis as the pain will be because of, practically, 100’s of various things. To use the term metatarsalgia is like using the expression ‘sore knee’. It's not a diagnosis and is only a non-specific term for pain in the ball of the foot. This will be significant as getting the diagnosis correct is absolutely important and the first step in getting the treatment correct. There is no treatment for metatarsalgia. There's treatment for the many different things that cause pain in the region of the metatarsals.

Quite possibly the most common cause for symptoms in this area is a ailment termed as a plantar plate tear. The plantar plate is a strong ligament underneath the joints in the ball of the foot that give stableness to the joint and protect it. When there is too much a level of activity and the toes get retracted or dorsiflexed too much, then that ligament could get stretched resulting is what is generally known as plantar plate dysfunction. If that load carries on then a small tear could develop in the ligament. Another cause for pain is this location could be what is known as sesamoiditis that is some soreness of the tissue all around the small sesamoid bones at the bottom of the great toe. Sesamoiditis can often be due to an excessive amount of pressure on those sesamoid bones, inducing the irritation. Simply from these two causes of metatarsalgia it ought to be clear that they're two completely different conditions that can get lumped under this pointless word, metatarsalgia. Treatments of these two problems are completely different, so it really should be no surprise that that name really should no longer be made use of.