Plantar Plate Tear/Rupture: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment - Dr Foot Podiatry

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Plantar Plate Tear/Rupture


Plantar Plate Tear/Rupture


Plantar plate tears occur on the thick ligament located at the underside of your foot that lines your toes. It is supposed to prevent your toes from bending upward beyond normal ranges. If there is an injury, pain can be felt when you bend your toes upwards or there might be swelling on the top or bottom of your foot along with redness.

How did this happen?

  • Usually caused by a strain of the plantar plate when too much pressure overloads it over some time perhaps during running 
  • Obesity where too much bodyweight is applied to the plantar plate
  • Frequent use of high heeled shoes stresses the plantar plate constantly leading to a tear

What should I do?

  • Apply ice packs to reduce inflammation
  • You can use anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation
  • Avoid activities that can contribute to the pain
  • Seek help from a podiatrist

What kind of help can I get?

  • Podiatrists can provide advice on using medical insoles to provide support and offload the affected area. The use of straps or taping techniques to position the toe downwards can aid in the healing process. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy may be used to promote recovery. In cases where conservative methods are ineffective, surgery may be considered.

How long till it recovers?

  • The typical recovery timeframe for plantar plate tears, which coincides with the standard healing duration for conservative treatment, usually spans from 3 to 6 months. However, it's important to note that the recovery time may vary depending on the severity of the tear, the individual's overall health, and adherence to proper rest and treatment protocols. Some cases may require a longer recovery period or additional interventions.

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