Heidi J. Siddle1, Anthony C. Redmond1, Philip S. Helliwell1, Richard J. Wakefield1, Philip J. O'Connor2, Richard J. Hodgson3
1Section of Musculoskeletal Disease, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom; 2Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, United Kingdom; 3Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
MRI is widely used to image the plantar plates of the metarsophalangeal joints. High signal at the insertion is routinely interpreted as a tear; however this is controversial. In this study 3T MRI images consistently demonstrated high signal at the plantar plate insertion centrally in asymptomatic subjects. The high signal did not extend to the medial and lateral borders and is not seen on T2 weighted images. Dorsiflexion of the joint demonstrates bands connecting the body of the plantar plate to the proximal phalanx. High signal centrally in the plantar plate is not indicative of a tear in asymptomatic subjects.