A plantar plate tear is a reasonably common problem that creates pain beneath the ball of the feet. It is considered the final phase of a stress on the ligament beneath the joint that progresses to a tear when there is no treatment done. The reason for this condition is simply too much use. If that ligament under the joint get used an excessive amount with higher activity levels, then it will at first become painful and then progress to a tear. The symptoms are usually under and in front of the metatarsal head beneath the ball of the foot. The symptoms are made worse with higher amounts of exercise.
The simplest way to deal with a plantar plate tear is by using strapping to plantarflex the toe in a plantarflexed position so the tension is removed from the ligament which is given a chance to recover. It could be a bit bothersome to keep taping the toe each day which could take months to fully heal. For that reason, there are a number of different types of splints which they can use. They are often not quite as effective as the strapping, however they could be more than effective if taping may be used in the early stages. This might need to be kept up for a few months to have a good outcome. Orthotics in the footwear with metatarsal domes may also be used to help hold the toe plantarflexed. If standing is painful, then pads on the orthotics can be used to keep weight of the painful spot and at least that can make it bearable while healing is taking place. Usually this helps. Occasionally some anti-inflammatory medicines and also the use of ice may be needed when it gets too painful may be needed. When this approach doesn't work, then surgical treatments end up being considered to repair the tear, but a majority of instances of a plantar plate tear do heal on their own.