Tag Archives: ball of foot pain

How to manage a plantar plate tear in the foot?

Metatarsalgia is a frequently used word which doesn't mean much. The metatarsals include the long bones behind the toes in the feet and the suffix -algia implies pain, so metatarsalgia simply means pain in the metatarsals region. That is quite useless as a diagnosis because the pain might be because of, literally, 100’s of different things. To use the term metatarsalgia is a lot like using the phrase ‘sore knee’. It's not a diagnosis and is just a non-specific phrase for symptoms in the ball of the foot. This will be significant as getting the diagnosis correct is absolutely necessary and the initial step to get the therapy correct. There is no treatment for metatarsalgia. There's treatment with regard to the various conditions that cause pain about the metatarsals.

Quite possibly the most common cause of pain in this region is a disorder referred to as a plantar plate tear. The plantar plate is a strong ligament under the joints in the ball of the feet that give stability to the joint and protect it. When there is too high a level of exercise and the toes get pulled back or dorsiflexed too much, then that ligament could get stretched causing is what is termed plantar plate dysfunction. In the event that load persists then a tiny tear could happen in the ligament. Another explanation for symptoms is this region could be what is known as sesamoiditis which is some soreness of the tissue surrounding the small sesamoid bones on the bottom of the big toe. This is frequently because of too much weight on those sesamoid bones, causing the irritation. Simply from these two illustrations it should be clear that they're two totally different conditions that could get lumped under this pointless word, metatarsalgia. Treatments for these two conditions are completely different, therefore it really should be obvious why that phrase should not be made use of.