A plantar plate tear is a common strain or tear of the strong ligament under the metatarsophalangeal joint of the foot. The symptoms are typically just over and just distal to the joint on palpation (see the typical spot illustrated in the diagram below):
A strange symptom that some with this describe is that it can feel like a sock is crunched up under the area, but when they check the sock is not like that at all. The cause of a plantar plate tear is not entirely clear, but it is an overuse problem.
Fixing a plantar plate tear is not difficult, but it can take a long time. The best approach is to use strapping to hold the toe plantarflexed. The tape needs to be used for up to 6 or so months of it to heal. A rocker sole shoe and also help restrict movement at the joint and also help. If this conservative approach does not help, then surgery to repair the tear is often indicated