14 Sep Plantar Plate Injuries – Signs and Treatment
Are you experiencing pain under your 2nd toe when you walk?
Have you noticed a gap between your 2nd and 3rd toes?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you may have suffered a plantar plate injury.
The plantar plate refers to the thickening of the joint capsule found under the base of each of the lesser toes. It helps in stabilizing the lesser toes, push off from your toes while walking, and prevents “hammertoe” deformity.
Plantar plate injuries can be the result of wearing high heels, walking barefoot on hard surfaces, and impact exercises, such as running.
Typically noted at the base of the second toe, the symptoms of plantar plate injury include –
- pain and swelling under the affected toe when walking
- possible deformity of the affected toe
- pain with range of motion of the toe
- the second toe may be starting to abut or even overlap the big toe
- in severe cases, the toe may become dislocated with a clawed and deformed digit; this may be accompanied with a bunion deformity
- toe deformity may become severe enough to wear shoes
Most patients with a plantar plate injury can recover with conservative treatments if the condition is diagnosed and treated in time.
Treatment options include –
- foot immobilization
- taping the affected toe
- EPAT (Extracorporeal pulse activation technology) to increase blood flow
- custom made foot orthotics to support the area
- anti-inflammatories or oral steroids
Poorly designed shoes, impact exercises, and faulty foot mechanics can cause a plantar plate injury. Don’t ignore it and if you experience pain on the bottom of your foot, have it examined by a podiatrist immediately.