If you’re suffering from any foot, ankle or lower limb pain and are looking for a podiatrist in Auckland, then your search is over. Our podiatry team boasts exceptional skills and years of valuable experience, and they can treat any foot issue you’re currently hobbling around with. Just one of the conditions they treat is plantar plate injuries.
This form of foot injury is usually the cause of pain underneath the 2nd metatarsophalangeal joint – in non-technical terms, we’re referring to your second toe joint at the ball of your foot. Having said that, it can occur in any of the metatarsophalangeal joints and be very debilitating and greatly restrict your mobility.
The plantar plate consists of ligaments that are attached to the base of your toes at the ball of your foot. The main function of the plate is to stabilise your toes and hold them in place, and this prevents them from hyperextending, spreading out in abnormal “splayed toe” fashion, or overloading so your toes can easily bend up and down with every step. The injuries we usually treat have occurred when the plate is subject to repetitive stress and abnormal pressures that cause a painful tear in the plate. Being more active than normal, combined with situation-based faulty biomechanics and badly fitting and non-supportive footwear are also contributing factors – this is why new runners are prone to this type of injury.
Injuries can also be caused by some sort of trauma, for example where a toe is pulled too far back or through a classic, and excruciatingly painful, stubbed toe. Whatever the cause, the symptoms are usually the same: swelling and redness at a metatarsophalangeal joint, the uncomfortable sensation that you’re walking directly on a bone and, in some cases, there might even be a separation of the toes. This creates a ‘V’ between two toes where a toe could begin to point upwards.
Treatment options for plantar plate injuries might include complete rest in the first instance to give the affected area a chance to recover, padding to “offload” the damaged area, and toe strapping, while you might need to invest in more supportive footwear that will better protect the plantar plate. Down the track, your podiatrist might look at what caused the injury in the first place and help you to reduce stress in the affected area in the years ahead.
Whether it’s a plantar plate injury, or any other condition causing you to limp around in genuine pain, we’re the Auckland podiatrist you’re looking for. Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our brilliant podiatry team.