A plantar ligament plate is found on the bottom of the foot. This ligament plate connects the toe to the corresponding “long bone” of the foot. Each foot contains four of these plates, one for each toe except for the first toe, which does not have a plantar ligament plate. It is comprised of fibrocartilage (collagen fibers and tough cartilage).
The function of the plantar ligament plate is to keep the toe in its proper joint. It can support the weight of the body and resists sideways flexion.
A plantar ligament plate can tear or stretch due to injury or overuse. When this occurs, the toe can become dislocated. Severe dislocation of the plantar ligament plate can result in hammertoe, a condition that causes abnormal bending in the joints of the second through fifth toes. In mild cases, the ligament may heal by itself; however, in serious cases, a doctor can perform surgery to repair the damaged plantar ligament plate.