Dislocation of 2nd Toe


Do you feel pain under your 2nd toe when you walk?
Do you notice a slight gap between your 2nd and 3rd toes?
You could be suffering from a plantar plate injury. The plantar plate is a thickening of the joint capsule under the base of each toe. This structure is responsible for stabilizing the toes, helping you push off when you walk and preventing the common deformity known as hammertoe. Plantar plate injuries can be caused by inappropriate footwear such as high heels, walking barefoot on hard surfaces, or by impact exercises such as running.


Although most often diagnosed by clinical examination alone, there are several non-invasive tests that can be performed to help identify a plantar plate injury, a diagnostic ultrasound or MRI can be performed to confirm the plantar plate tear. The tear may be partial or complete.

Typically noted at the base of the second toe, symptoms include pain and swelling under the affected toe when walking, possible deformity of the affected toe and pain when moving the toe. In some cases, dislocation or deviation of the toe may occur. This is often associated with a deformity of the bunion (hallux valgus). The toe deformity can become severe enough to make it difficult to wear shoes or take part in any sporting activity.


Conservative treatment often involves changing shoes.

For plantar plate injuries, surgery is often the most successful long-term option. Surgery allows us to re-establish the plantar plate and restore the affected toe to its normal appearance and function. This minor surgery can correct a common problem and help reduce the pain caused by the tear.

In general, patients who undergo surgery to repair the plantar plate ligament usually recover very well after the procedure. Most patients have a four- to six-week healing process and rarely use crutches.

All content on this site is verified and approved by Dr. Sarah Cantin-Langlois, podiatrist.

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