Plantar Plate Tear
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Like most ligaments, a low-grade tear typically takes 4-6 weeks to Physiologically heal using taping, insoles and Physical Therapy. In more severe cases, it can take up to 6 months for a Plantar Plate Tear to heal.
If a Plantar Plate Tear is left untreated, the symptoms will likely deteriorate slowly over time. In some cases, worsening symptoms can lead to hammer toe formation and arthritis of the MTP joint.
When the second and third toe separate, it is known as the V-Sign or the Churchill sign, resulting from a Plantar Plate Tear.
If you have a Plantar Plate Tear, you should reduce your step count as much as possible. We recommend you refrain from walking barefoot indoors and wear a stiff, cushioned trainer as much as possible.
It is highly unlikely that a Plantar Plate Tear will heal independently. Degenerative tears that develop over time may result in a v-sign, but they may become symptom-free.
Not all Plantar Plate Tear require surgery. A Grade 0-2 tear is usually treated conservatively with a Physical Therapist through taping, insoles, exercises and stiff shoes. Severe cases of a Grade 3 Plantar Plate Tear may require surgery.
A Plantar Plate Tear is a tear of the Plantar Plate ligament that sits in the forefoot connecting the 2nd to 5th toes. A ligament attaches bone to bone, while a tendon connects a muscle to a tendon.
We recommend that you do not run if you have a Plantar Plate Tear. Running on a Plantar Plate Tear is likely to worsen the symptoms, and it is possible that running could cause a more significant tear of an existing Plantar Plate Tear.
You can do non-impact exercises such as swimming if you have a Plantar Plate Tear. You can do upper body strength training but consider using machine weights rather than carrying weights to and from a rack as this can overload the forefoot.
You can continue to cycle with a Plantar Plate Tear if you wear cleats, stay in the saddle and keep a high cadence, preferably on a static bike. Cycling outdoors without cleats can place excess pressure and extension on the forefoot, worsening the symptoms of a Plantar Plate Tear.
Yes, you can swim, and it is the best form of cardiovascular exercise to do with a Plantar Plate Tear as it is doubtful to worsen the symptoms or the condition itself.
This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.