Plantar plate tear or rupture is a common condition which results in pain at the base of the toe joint, and progressive deviation (and eventual) dislocation of the toe. It occurs following an injury, or chronic stretching of the ligament which holds the base of the toe down to the foot (known as the plantar plate).
If the problem is diagnosed and treated early enough, it can be resolved without surgery by strapping the toe, and immobilising the foot in a moon boot or custom-orthotic. In cases of chronic plantar plate tear or rupture, patients may benefit from surgery which involves repair of the native ligament, in conjunction with decompressive osteotomy of the metatarsal bone. The two procedures are usually performed in combination to help reduce the risk of recurrent strain on the ligament long-term.
If patients have a hammertoe deformity present also this may be addressed at the time of surgery. Aftercare from this procedure depends largely on what needs to be done, but generally patients will require immobilisation in a post-op shoe for several weeks afterwards. Return to impact based exercise like jogging or running is possible once the surgery site has healed and it is not common to experience re-rupture with modern repair techniques.
This website is intended for general information purposes only. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. For more information, follow the link to make an appointment to see our specialist podiatric surgeons Dr. Andrew Knox & Dr Burke Hugo.