Strapping for a Plantar Plate Tear

What is a plantar plate tear?

A plantar plate tear is a reasonably common strain or partial tear of a strong ligament under the metatarsophalangeal joints in the ball of the foot. The pain is most commonly under the head and distal to the head of the second metatarsal.

How to strap it

The best way to treat this initially is to tape or strap the toe in a plantarflexed position. This is relatively easy to do yourself without the doctor:

If this is done properly and for an extended period of time, a plantar plate tear can heal on its own. While this taping is useful, an alternative is the Fix Toe device which is much more convenient.

When to see the doctor?

It is probably best to see the doctor when:

  • to get the diagnosis right. There are a number of clinical tests that can be done to help so this and sometimes an ultrasound is used
  • if the strapping does not help. Sometimes the tear needs to be corrected surgically.
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