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Tag: metatarsalgia

What is the plantar plate in the foot?

The plantar plate is a fibrous like framework which is located on the plantar side of the metatarsophalangeals (toe) joints of the feet. Anatomically these are the same as the meniscus from the knee indicating they are created to endure lots of compressive forces and retain the joint surfaces. It is just a a thickening of the plantar surface of the joint capsule which is all around that joint to maintain the joint lubricant in the joint. Almost all of the fibres inside it are oriented longitudinally in the similar direction as the foot points, so it might hold up against lots of load forces. The collateral ligaments on both sides of the joint furthermore attach to the plantar plate, to help give the joint more stability. The purpose of the plantar plate is to support the weight of the body and restricts dorsiflexion at the metatarsophalangeal joint.

Since this plantar plate was designed to resist those great forces, sometimes the forces can be so great or the ligament is weakened for many possible explanations, it may turn out to be painful or even have a tiny split in it. This isn't usually something that comes about abruptly and develops gradually over time. The discomfort is frequently on weightbearing underneath the joint at the bottom of the toe. Palpation of this place is invariably quite painful. Usually the diagnosis can be verified by having an ultrasound assessment. Previously the symptoms may have just been disregarded as a metatarsalgia which is not actually a diagnosis and simply indicates pain across the metatarsals. Now more is known concerning this plantar plate and just how it produces symptoms, the procedure could be better focused to correct it. The important thing to solving this problem is to reduce force on the plantar plate and to do this the toe is required to be kept in a plantarflexed placement with taping. This usually manages most instances.

What is a plantar plate tear?

A plantar plate tear is a relatively common problem which causes pain beneath the ball of the foot. It is considered the last stage of a stress on the ligament under the joint which advances to a tear when there is no treatment used. The reason behind this disorder is merely overuse. If that ligament underneath the joint get used too much with higher exercise amounts, then it will to begin with come to be painful and then progress to a tear. The signs and symptoms are generally under and in front of the metatarsal head beneath the ball of the foot. They are made worse with increased levels of exercise.

The obvious way to start treating a plantar plate tear is to use strapping to plantarflex the toe in a plantarflexed placement hence the stress is removed from the ligament which is given a chance to get better. It is usually a bit annoying to keep strapping the toe each day which may take many months to fully get better. Because of this, there are a number of different types of braces which you can use. They are generally not really as good as the taping, but they will be more than effective if strapping may be used in the early stages. This may need to be kept up for a few months to have a good outcome. Insoles in the shoes with metatarsal pads may also be used to help hold the toe plantarflexed. If standing is painful, then pads on the insole can be used to maintain weight of the painful area and at least that'll make it tolerable while healing takes place. More often than not this can help. Occasionally some anti-inflammatory medications and the use of ice may be required when it gets too painful may be required. If this approach does not work, then surgical interventions end up being considered to mend the tear, but most instances of a plantar plate tear do heal on their own.