What is a plantar plate?
A plantar plate — we have one per toe — is a piece of cartilage that helps keep toes from bending too far when the foot pushes off or changes direction. It is part of a web of ligaments that link toe bones and hold the ball of the foot together. Read the article.
Sources: Atlas of Human Anatomy, NIH, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Bonnie Berkowitz and James Smallwood/The Washington Post.