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Plantar Plate Injury

Plantar plate injury is a prevalent source of pain in the ball of the foot. The plantar plate, a dense ligamentous structure located in this area, plays a crucial role in stabilizing the toe, cushioning the foot during weight-bearing activities, and aiding in toe placement when standing.



Plantar plate injuries frequently cause persistent pain and swelling in the ball of the foot, which can radiate towards the toes. This discomfort often continues even after modifying footwear and making lifestyle changes. Other typical symptoms of this condition include:

  • Toes splaying or clawing.

  • Swelling and redness on the top of the foot.

  • A feeling of ‘walking on the bones’ of the foot.

  • The second or third toe appearing to shift position.

  • A toe not making contact with the ground when standing.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your podiatrist will diagnose a Plantar Plate Injury by reviewing your health history and performing a Biomechanical Assessment to study your movement. An X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound may be recommended.

Without adequate treatment, a Plantar Plate Injury can become chronic and lead to deformity. Practical Podiatry suggests the following treatments:

  • Rest and ice to reduce swelling and pain

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

  • Kinetic Orthotics to relieve pressure on strained areas

  • Footwear modifications to avoid high heels and tight shoes

  • Surgery in some cases to repair the plantar plate

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