There is a bizarre discomfort that could happen beneath the forefoot which is frequently referred to as a feeling that a sock is scrunched up under the toes, but if you checked it it is good. The feeling is commonly described and it is typically perplexing. Most likely the sensation is due to a problem with a ligament on the bottom of one or more of the metatarsophalangeal (toe) joints of the feet called plantar plate dysfunction. Around each joint, there is a strong covering called the joint capsule. Parts of each joint capsule are thicker and these are the ligaments that guard and stabilise the joints. Below the base of the metatarsophalangeal joints, that joint capsule is thicker to produce what is known as the plantar plate. It is possible to strain or perhaps get a minor tear in that plantar plate, that produces that experience of a sock which feels like its bunched up under the toes.

Pain usually starts off gradually beneath the ball of the foot and might be preceded with that odd scrunched sock sensation. The common sign of plantar plate dysfunction is discomfort on palpation in the region of the plantar plate. An experienced clinician will move the joint in a way to identify if the plantar plate is impaired. A definitive diagnosis may be possible having a diagnostic ultrasound, however it is quite apparent to a experienced clinician on assessment. Generally the primary treatment solutions are taping to hold the toe directed downwards to relieve the load on the ligament. A metatarsal pad can be frequently used to reduce the load on the plantar plate. This often will help most all cases of plantar plate dysfunction and get rid of that strange experience of a scrunched up sock below the ball of the foot. In the event that those conservative treatments don't help, surgical repair of a partial or complete tear of the plantar plate can often be done.