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The thick ligament that runs along the ball of your foot and connects to the joints is called the plantar plate. This band of tissue is designed to protect the long bones of the foot, or metatarsals, from excess pressure. It stops the toes from spreading too far apart. It also prevents the toes from becoming over extended.

Too much stress on the plantar plate can cause it to tear. In most cases, a plantar plate tear will happen at the second toe. This is because the second toe is the longest in the foot. Certain foot conditions can also contribute to a tear in the plantar plate:

  • Rolling the feet inward, or over-pronate
  • Having a hammer toe
  • Having a bunion
  • Activities that put excessive pressure on the ball of the foot

Dancers and athletes are susceptible to plantar plate tears because their activities consistently put additional stress on the plantar plate.

Diagnosing the Plantar Plate Tear

There are many conditions that can cause foot pain. Diagnosing a plantar plate tear can be challenging as a result. These types of injuries range from mild to severe. Your doctor may need to use medical imaging in addition to examining your foot in order to determine the severity of your injury. Accurate diagnosis is imperative in determining the most effective treatment plan.

Treatment for Plantar Plate Tear Pain

Relieving the pain of the plantar plate tear is the focus of treatment. To achieve this goal, the toes may need to be strapped in place. Padding may be needed to relieve stress from the damaged area. You may need to change your footwear for a period of time. Anti-inflammatory medications are recommended to address the pain, and avoiding those activities that aggravate the pain is advised.

Once the pain of the plantar plate tear is adequately managed, your doctor will look at factors contributing to the condition. They will develop a plan to offload the stress normally put on the forefoot. When diagnosed in its earliest stages, issues with the plantar plate can be minimized or prevented by using a custom, soft full-length orthotic along with proper shoes.

Problems with the plantar plate can create unbearable pain and sideline you from the activities you enjoy. Contact the office of Dr. Stuart Mogul to schedule an appointment. Dr. Mogul is one of New York’s premier foot and ankle surgeons and an expert in the field. He will diagnose and treat your foot pain and have you enjoying your activities once again.

Patient Testimonials

Fabulous person and doctor. Very professional manner, skilled, knowledgeable and personable... what more can you ask for in your Doctor?! Her performed my surgery and I was confident then as I am now through my recovery.

- Samantha W.

Second surgery with dr mogul. Once in 2013 and one now (bunion surgery on different feet). Great doctor, friendly staff, personally checks in on you after surgery. Highly recommend. Hoping my right foot is as pain free as my left one was.

- Priya P.

Fabulous person and doctor. Very professional manner, skilled, knowledgeable and personable... what more can you ask for in your Doctor?! Her performed my surgery and I was confident then as I am now through my recovery.

- Samantha W.