Fore-foot (Ball of Foot) Treatment Cairns Plantar Plate Tear Treatment Cairns

Plantar Plate tear treatment Cairns is a service available at each of the FNQ Podiatry and Orthotics clinics. What is the Plantar Plate? It’s a ligament that runs underneath the metatarsal heads (long bones in the ball of your foot) and helps support the region where it connects to the base of your toes. The Plantar Plate is pivotal in supporting the fore-foot during standing and walking, particularly to ensure that your toes maintain a straight position. When it has an acute tear injury, it becomes compromised and unable to adequately fulfill its role, whilst also causing you pain and discomfort. If this sounds like you we can help with effective and professional Cairns Plantar Plate tear treatment.

How and why did my Plantar Plate tear?

A tear through the Plantar Plate can occur in two instances; acute trauma or due to degenerative changes over time. An acute Plantar Plate tear generally presents with swelling and discomfort at the base of the toes, that is made worse with activities that involve going up onto the balls of your feet. Degenerative plantar plate tears may or may not present with discomfort and are associated with either side to side translation of the toes or clawing of a toe. Although Plantar Plate tears can occur in all toes, they are most commonly seen in the 2nd toes due to their increased length and the associated pressure through this area.

What causes a Plantar Plate Tear?

Plantar Plate tears can be caused by many factors and is most commonly seen in the active middle aged population (women > men). Most patients with a Plantar Plate tear present with many of the following risk factors;

  • Collapsed Ball of the Foot
  • Increased weight
  • Incorrect footwear (tight fitting shoes)
  • Bunions/claw toes
  • Sudden increase in physical activity
  • Long 2nd metatarsal bones

How are Plantar Plate tears diagnosed?

A thorough clinical examination will generally be enough to diagnose a Plantar Plate tear, however, as there are so many different structures in the ball of the foot, an ultrasound is often utilized to determine the extent of the injury and to rule out any other pathology. Once we have diagnosed the condition and its extent, we will prepare a customised Plantar Plate tear Cairns treatment plan, to suit your specific symptoms and biomechanics.

Plantar Plate tear Cairns treatment options

There are a few different options we can use in isolation, or collectively, as a part of your Plantar Plate tear Cairns treatment plan. These include the following.

  • Strapping
  • Ice
  • Footwear advice
  • Moderated rest
  • Moon boot to immobilize (severe cases)
  • Orthotics (custom insoles)
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Fore-foot padding

Plantar Plate tear Cairns treatment - Prognosis

Although the tear can be a debilitating condition in the short-term, the majority of patients respond to our conservative Plantar Plate tear Cairns treatment plans. However, as the fore-foot takes a lot of pressure while standing/walking, the treatment process can sometimes take a couple of months, depending on the extent of the tear.

Surgery is rarely recommended as a part of our Plantar Plate tear Cairns treatment plans, however it can be an option for chronic cases that show no improvement to conservative treatments.


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