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.
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
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