Toe Injuries Are Not Just For High Athlete Performers

Athletes involved with high impact sports will often suffer from toe injuries. Sports fans will remember when Pierre Garcon and Taylor Martinez both suffered from a plantar plate tear. Although a lot of us are not professional athletes we too can suffer from plantar plate tears.

The plantar plate is a ligament located on the bottom of the toes. It is responsible for cushioning the ball of the foot when walking and running and prevents hyperextension of the toes. With repeated overuse the ligament can stretch and tear and lead to a predislocation syndrome also known as a crossover toe deformity or a floating toe syndrome. Plantar plate tears most commonly affect the second toe.

Symptoms of a plantar plate tear:

  • Persistent pain at the ball of the foot

  • A toe that is changing position – lifting up or crossing over

  • Swelling

Plantar plate tears can be difficult to diagnose. Common misdiagnoses include a neuroma, tuff toe or a stress fracture. If you were given one of these diagnoses and you are unresponsive to treatment, ask your doctor about the possibility of a plantar plate tear.

At Foot& Ankle Doctors, Inc we will first offer conservative treatment options:

  • Rest

  • Ice

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

  • Accommodative padding to alleviate pressure from the ball of the foot

  • Plantarflexion strapping of the digit to hold it in place

  • Orthotics and stiff soled shoe or rocker-bottom shoes may be recommended

If conservative treatments fail, surgery may be required to repair the ligament.

 

Dr. Dardashti