The pain with a plantar plate injury is underneath the toe next to the big toe and can either start suddenly with a sharp pain or can develop gradually over time. In either case, if it is not treated, the patient tends to suffer with constant pain under the ball of the foot.
The plantar plate is a supporting structure between the metatarsals and the remainder of the foot. The plantar plate, located at the level of the MTP joint, is made of fibrocartilage and fibrous slips. The plantar plate, as an extension of the plantar fascia, withstands compressive loads from the metatarsal. The plantar plate has attachments along the proximal phalanx, plantar fascia, and collateral ligaments. The plantar plate is weakest at the metatarsal neck due to the thin synovial attachment. The second metatarsal undergoes the most stress during weight bearing; therefore, the second plantar plate has a higher predisposition to injury.