Plantar plate tear

Plantar plate tears refer to disruption to any of the plantar plates of the foot. They are essentially a type of metatarsophalangeal joint capsular tear, and usually occur at the distal lateral border of the plantar plate.

When it occurs at the 1st metatarsal is then termed turf toe or sand toe, while the term plantar plate tear is usually reserved for disruption of 2nd to 5th digits 1

Patients may present with metatarsalgia.

The increased weight-bearing load and hyper-extension forces placed on the MTP joint by high-heeled, pointed shoes are thought to be possible predisposing factors.

MR imaging findings include:

  • direct features
    • increased signal intensity at and around the plantar plate on T2-weighted images
    • discontinuity of the plate
  • indirect features
    • metatarsophalangeal joint synovitis
    • flexor tendon sheath tenosynovitis
    • persistent hyper-extension of the proximal phalanx 1
Share article

Article information

rID: 17837
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Plantar plate tears
  • Plantar plate rupture
  • Plantar plate rupturing

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Discontinuity of ...
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.