Sore ball of your foot?
It could be a plantar plate tear
What is plantar plate tear?
Plantar plate tears occur when there is trauma from over-extension or bending of the joint. Swelling in the ball of foot is a common sign you may have a plantar plate tear. Common incidents that we see contribute to plantar plate tears are:
- Slipping on loose rocks whilst trail running
- Climbing stairs
- Running steep hill repetitions
- Repetitive burpies
Each of these activities can hyper-extend the forefoot and can lead to plantar plate tear. Whilst not the sole cause, bio-mechanical issues are often a contributing factor to plantar plate tears, usually as a result of:
- Instability of the foot
- Excess force placed at the ball of the foot during toe of
How to diagnose a plantar plate tear?
Diagnosis for plantar plate tears is best seen on MRI. The MRI will determine the presence of the tear and can help differentiate this injury with those listed above and any other possible diagnoses.
How to treat a plantar plate tear
Treatment for plantar plate tears needs to be done with a podiatrist initially to offload the injured plate and to correct bio-mechanical issues. Runners need to stay off hills until there is no pain. If there is no resolution, the next step is surgical repair.
If you have swelling in the ball of your foot and feel you may have a plantar plate tear, we recommend making an appointment to see one of the podiatrists at the intraining Running Injury Clinic. The sooner you are able to receive a correct diagnosis and treatment the sooner you will be back running pain free.