What is plantar plate dysfunction?

There is a peculiar discomfort which may occur under the forefoot which is typically described as a feeling that a sock is bunched up beneath the toes, but when you checked it it is fine. The sense is commonly explained and is frequently puzzling. Most probably the actual sensation is because of a problem with a ligament on the bottom of one or more of the metatarsophalangeal (toe) joints of the foot termed plantar plate dysfunction. Around each joint, there is a strong covering named the joint capsule. Parts of each joint capsule are thicker which are the ligaments that guard and stabilise the joints. Underneath the base of the metatarsophalangeal joints, that joint capsule is thicker to produce what is known as the plantar plate. It's possible to strain or even get a small split in that plantar plate, that causes that experience of a sock which feels as though its scrunched up below the toes.

The symptoms usually begins little by little below the ball of the foot and might be preceded with that peculiar scrunched sock feeling. The most common characteristic of plantar plate dysfunction is pain on palpation in the region of the plantar plate. A skilled clinician can move the joint in a manner to identify if the plantar plate is impaired. A conclusive diagnosis may be accomplished having a diagnostic ultrasound, however it's really clear to a expert clinician on examination. Ordinarily the primary treatment is taping to hold the toe directed downwards to relieve the strain on the plantar plate. A metatarsal pad can also be commonly used to reduce the strain on the plantar plate. This usually improves most all cases of plantar plate dysfunction and get rid of that unusual sensation of a scrunched up sock under the ball of the foot. If those conservative steps really don't help, surgical repair of a partial or complete split of the ligament can often be performed.