According to Dan Michaels, DPM, “A permutation of a hammertoe deformity is the dreaded plantar plate tear. When nothing is done for the conditions stressing the plantar plate, this can progress to a tear of the plate, worsening over time, as the second toe slowly drifts upward, bending at the ball of the foot. The plate itself will usually become increasingly traumatized and torn, allowing continued dislocation of the joint.”
“For plantar plate injuries which are less severe, various toe braces and strapping techniques can make a real difference in symptoms. Various surgical procedures are utilized for plantar plate instability, from correction of the bony alignment to repair of the tear in the plantar plate. Although many surgeons have their favorite procedures, the choice should primarily depend on the specifics of the deformity and the biomechanical function leading to the condition,” says Dr. Michaels.