A plantar plate tear is a common cause of pain under the ball of the foot (metatarsalgia). The plantar plate is a strong ligament under the metatarsophalnageal joints that support the integrity of the joint. The typical symptom of a plantar plate tear is pain under and just in from of the joint on palpation and on weightbearing. Often a diagnostic ultrasound is used to help in the diagnosis, but it is usually obvious to clinicians doing the appropriate clinical tests.
The best way to “fix” a plantar plate tear is usually with strapping to hold the toe downwards (plantarflexed) to rest the painful area and relieve the strain on that area. This often needs to be used for at least a month or so for it to heal up properly.
More recently clinicians have been using the Fix Toe device instead of the strapping as it is more practical to use over the longer term.
This can be used over the longer term rather than having to resort to strapping which can get dirty and is ‘fiddly’ to have to apply fresh every few days.