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Plantar Plate Rupture

If you suffer from pain or swelling please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.

What Is Plantar Plate Rupture?

Plantar plate rupture, also known as metatarsophalangeal joint instability or “dropped metatarsal,” is a condition that involves the tearing or disruption of the plantar plate ligament in the foot. The plantar plate is a thick ligament located on the bottom of the foot, connecting the metatarsal bones (bones in the forefoot) to the base of the toes.

The main cause of plantar plate rupture is repetitive stress or trauma to the forefoot, often from activities that involve running, jumping, or pivoting. It can also result from structural abnormalities of the foot, such as a long second toe or excessive pressure on the forefoot due to foot deformities like bunions.

Symptoms Of Plantar Plate Rupture

Common signs and symptoms of plantar plate rupture may include:

  1. Pain and tenderness in the ball of the foot, particularly near the affected toe(s).
  2. Swelling and inflammation in the area.
  3. Instability or feeling of the toe(s) “slipping” or “popping out” of place.
  4. Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot.
  5. Hammer toe deformity, where the affected toe(s) become bent or curled downward.

Diagnosis of plantar plate rupture involves a thorough examination by a healthcare professional, which may include a physical evaluation, medical history review, and possibly imaging tests such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the severity of the injury and rule out other potential causes.

Treatments For Plantar Plate Rupture

Treatment for plantar plate rupture depends on the severity of the condition but typically involves a combination of non-surgical measures, including:

  1. Rest and immobilization: Avoid activities that aggravate the condition and use supportive footwear or braces to immobilize the foot and promote healing.
  2. Ice therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
  3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter or prescribed medications may be recommended to manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  4. Physical therapy: Specific exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles, improve foot mechanics, and restore stability and range of motion.
  5. Orthotic devices: Custom-made shoe inserts or orthotics can provide support and alleviate pressure on the affected area.
  6. Taping or strapping: Using specialized taping techniques or straps to stabilize the affected toe(s) and provide additional support.
  7. Shoe modifications: Wear shoes with a wide toe box and good arch support to reduce pressure on the forefoot and promote proper foot alignment.
  8. In some cases, if conservative measures do not provide sufficient relief, or if the condition is severe, surgical intervention may be considered to repair or reconstruct the damaged plantar plate.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist, for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for plantar plate rupture. They will consider the severity of the injury, individual symptoms, and overall health to recommend the most appropriate interventions to manage the condition effectively and prevent long-term complications.


    If you would like to speak to an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Telemedicine appointments are also available.