Definition: A Morton’s Plate, also known as a Turf Toe Plate, is a thin carbon or hard plastic plate made in the configuration shown below. The plate meets the needs of several different 1st metatarsal conditions. In Morton’s Foot (also known as Morton’s Toe), the second toe is longer than the first, and the first metatarsal bone is shorter than desired. Consequently, the forefoot does not bend optimally, resulting in excessive pressure at the 1st and 2nd metatarsal phalangeal joints and in the forefoot generally. The plate relieves some of the pressure at the 1st joint. For those with Hallux limitus (limited motion in the 1st metatarsal/big toe joint) and Hallux rigidus (no motion at this joint), also known as Turf Toe, the plate decreases the force required to toe off, making walking easier.
The plate works best if it is placed under a cushion. Double or triple depth shoes are usually needed to accommodate the plate and cushion. Another way to relieve pressure at the 1st and 2nd metatarsal joints is with an arch support with a metatarsal lift. When it does not relieve it enough, a combination of the support and the plate can be created. Shoes with non-flexible forefoot soles can accomplish the same goal.
Benefits: A stiff sole at the 1st metatarsal relieves stress at that joint and that is what is needed for those with conditions in that part of the foot. The plate may be too hard for some, however, so it is best to begin with an arch support with a metatarsal lift. When that is not enough, a combination of the two can be created. Wearing a shoe with a non-flexing forefoot sole works also. A Morton’s plate should have a metatarsal lift on it but it does not come with it. A Pedorthist can add the necessary components in the correct positions.
Text: Copyright 2005-2013 Carole Romig Image: euroorthotics.com
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