What is a plantar plate injury?


Plantar Plate Injury

The plantar plate is a fibrocartilaginous structure that lies directly underneath the webbing of each toe. The role of the plantar plate is to limit excessive dorsiflexion of the digit. When this structure is damage digital deformities will most likely appear.

Risk Factors

  • Activities such a barefoot walking on hard surfaces
  • Wearing high heeled shoes
  • High impact activities such as running or jumping

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain is localized to the plantar aspect of the digit, most commonly the second
  • Feels like you are walking on a stone
  • There is no shooting pain associated
  • The toes “normal” position has changed
  • Affected digit may not sit on the ground when weight bearing
  • Can be caused by a minor event like tripping or mis-step


In most cases clinical assessment by your podiatrist can lead to diagnosis of a plantar plate injury, however in some cases imaging may be needed. This may include either a MRI or ultrasound to check the integrity of the plantar plate.

Differential Diagnosis

Soft tissue: fat pad atrophy, bursitis, necrosis, capsulitis

Skeletal: Stress fracture, arthritis

Neurological: Morton’s neuroma


Conservative treatment will include; NSAIDs, padding, strapping, orthoses

Other more invasive treatments may be needed if there is no resolve including but not limited to;

  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Surgery

At Premier Sports & Spinal Medicine, our podiatrists excel in General Podiatry, Sports Podiatry, Rehabilitation Podiatry, and Elderly Care. They treat toddlers, school-aged children, adolescents, pregnant women, athletes, and seniors. With proper assessment, diagnosis, management, any problem or pain in the feet, no matter the age of the patient, is dealt with.