During the Clippers weekend playoff game, the all star forward left the game with what was initially described as a bruise to his big toe. However when hearing that he would miss the remainder of the game, on top of the rest of the post season, speculation was rampant that the injury was more severe than a bruise.
That speculation came to a head when it was confirmed that he had a plantar plate injury to his big toe which may eventually lead to surgery. Plantar Plate injuries are not commonly heard of in the sports world, but they are always something to be on the look out for within our podiatry office. The plantar plate is a thick band of tissue (similar to that of the meniscus in the knee) that extends across the ball of the foot. This band is found on the bottom of the foot as opposed to the top. The plantar plate helps to stabilize the joint complex as well as the toe itself. A plantar plate tear or rupture is commonly found in the second toe associated with hammertoe deformities. When a hammertoe develops, the stress on the plantar plate can sometimes lead to a tear and/or rupture leading to a more painful, elevated toe that deviates to the side.
In Griffin’s case, it was an awkward step that caused the injury to the plantar plate under his right big toe. Because of the location of the injury, any time Griffin would try to run or jump, there would be constant strain on the plantar plate. A diagnosis of a plantar plate injury is unlikely to be made with a regular x-ray, however most MRI’s should pick up on it.
Depending on the severity of the injury treatment options for mild plantar plate injuries consist of immobilization followed by physical therapy. However, if the plantar plate is seriously injured, then surgical repair is warranted. A six week non weight bearing course is needed following a plantar plate repair. Just like many pedal injuries, following full therapy a custom orthotic would be beneficial to Blake.
Here’s wishing Blake a speedy recovery. If you or a loved one are having pain across the ball of your foot, come see one of our physicians at Healthy Feet Podiatry!