The plantar plate is fibrocartilaginous structure found in the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) of the foot with a composition similar to that found in the menisci of the knee (composed of about 75% type-I collagen), and so can withstand compressive loads and act as a supportive articular surface. The plantar plate is a thickening of the plantar aspect of the capsule that surrounds that joint. Most of its fibers are oriented longitudinally, in the same direction as the plantar fascia which attaches to it. This allows the plate to sustain substantial tensile loads in that direction. The collateral ligaments of the joint also attach to the plantar plate, to help give the joint stability.
The anatomy and composition of the plantar plates in the foot are similar to the palmar plates in the metacarpophalangeal of the hand. As the foot is a weight-bearing structure, the plantar plates are exposed to extension forces during gait and direct load from the weight bearing which does not happen in the hand.
The plantar plate supports the weight of the body and restricts dorsiflexion at the metatarsophalangeal joint.