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Posts for tag: Claw Toes

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
July 22, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Claw Toes   Mallet Toes  

Understanding Claw and Mallet Toes


Think you may have mallet or claw toes? Mallet and claw toes form over years and are common in adults. Mallet and claw toes are among the most common toe problems. If you think you have mallet or claw toes, see a podiatrist right away. If you don't treat the problem right away, you are more likely to need surgery. Here's what you need to know about claw and mallet toes.

What Are Mallet and Claw Toes?

Mallet and claw toes are toes that are bent into an abnormal position. They may hurt or look odd, or both. These toe deformities usually occur in the small toes, not the big toes. Claw toe often affects the four small toes at the same time. The toes bend up at the joint where the foot and toes meet. This causes the toes to curl downward. Mallet toes often affect the second toes, but it may occur in the other toes too. Mallet toes bend down at the joint closest to the tip of the toes. 

What Causes These Conditions?

Tight footwear is the most common cause of mallet and claw toes. Wearing tight footwear can cause the muscles of the toes to get out of balance. Less often, these conditions are linked with other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, stroke, or an injury to the ankle or foot. Women are affected more often than men because they are more likely to wear narrow shoes or high heels.

How Are They Diagnosed?

Your podiatrist will take a detailed medical history and ask about your daily activities and footwear. A physical examination comes next, in which the level of deformity and scope of pain will be assessed. Diagnosis of these claw and mallet toes is usually obvious from the physical exam. To further evaluate the joints and bones of your feet and confirm a diagnosis, your podiatrist may order x-rays or other imaging tests.

How Are They Treated?

Buying shoes with more room in the toes, filing down calluses and corns, and padding the toes most often relieve the pain. If you have pain, your doctor may put a splint or pad on the toe. A custom orthotic device may be placed in your shoe to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance and alleviate your pain. This keeps the toe from rubbing on the top of the shoe. Corticosteroid injections are sometimes used to ease pain and inflammation. If these steps don’t work, you may need surgery to straighten the toes.

Podiatric medicine a branch of science that is devoted to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions of the ankle, foot, and lower extremity. Podiatrists diagnose and treat various foot problems, including claw and mallet toes. They offer a variety of treatments for claw and mallet toes. If you think you may have claw or mallet toes, a podiatrist in your area can help you achieve real relief.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
May 04, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Diabetes   corns   hammertoes   Calluses   Claw Toes  

Claw toe is a common condition where the toes bend into a position that resembles a claw. It can start at birth or can develop later in your adult life.  It isn’t always a serious issue by itself but eventually it can create discomfort and prohibit you from wearing some of your favorite shoes.


  • Certain toe joints will point upward while others remain bent down.
  • Pain may occur in some cases but not in all.
  • You may develop corns, calluses and/or ulcers on toes that will rub against your shoes.

Claw toes can be confused with hammer toes and while they may have some similar conditions, they are caused by different muscle problems in your foot.


  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack healthy tissue in your joints and those joints eventually become inflamed and deformed.
  • Diabetes occurs when your body has high levels of blood sugar due to an imbalance of insulin. Nerve damage to your feet is one of the complicated issues that come from diabetes.
  • Strokes can happen when blood stops flowing to an area of your brain due to clots or week vessels. Strokes can also affect your muscles and nerves in your feet.

Your doctor will check for underlying disorders that cause claw toe and keep in mind that early diagnoses is important to prevent more complications.


  • Your doctor may put you into a splint or tape them to keep them in the right position.
  • Surgery may be recommended if your toes become inflexible and can’t be taped or splinted.
  • Coordination with other doctors may be required to address the original cause if brought on by disease or disorder.
  • Certain toe exercise may help to keep the toes flexible, like picking up a towel with your toes and repeating the motion a few times a day.
  • Wearing roomy shoes can relieve discomfort. Pads can also take pressure off the ball of your foot which can balance out the pressure on your toes as you walk.

If you feel that you may have symptoms of claw toe and would like to ask our doctor for more information or schedule an appointment to get a clear diagnosis. We have a conveniently located office in Chandler Arizona and can be reached at 480-732-0033. Alan J. Discont at Family Foot and Ankle Care can set your toes straight. 

By Family Foot and Ankle Care, PC
July 11, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Claw Toes  

Claw ToesClaw toes are can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Here you will learn how to recognize their characteristics and what can be done to correct them.

Claw toes, sometimes referred to as claw foot, live up to their name. The condition causes the toes to curl into an unnatural, claw­like position. They can be uncomfortable, particularly while wearing shoes, and can be embarrassing when it comes time to wear open­toed footwear in warmer months. Fortunately, they are treatable, sometimes just with simple home care.

Claw toes overview

Claw toes can develop from nerve damage, muscle weakness or inflammation. Sometimes they are a congenital deformity, meaning that they are part of a person's makeup from birth. They seem to be fairly common in people with high arches. Claw toes cause the first joint of your toes to flex upwards and the second and sometimes third joint to point downwards, resulting in the appearance of a talon, or claw. Calluses can form from the joints pressing against the inside of your shoes. It is a progressive condition; without treatment, claw toes will become more pronounced and uncomfortable.

Home treatment

If rigidity has not set in the joints, you can try simple exercises, such as using your toes to pick up objects from the floor, to straighten them out. Massaging them into a normal position is also useful. You should always wear comfortable shoes with a proper fit and plenty of room in the toes. A shoe repair shop can stretch the toe area to make more space. Pads worn inside the shoes can help to shift your weight and relieve pressure.

Medical intervention

Your doctor may order physical therapy sessions for stretching and strengthening your toe joints. Physical therapists can also design shoe inserts to correct the problem. If your condition has progressed to the point that you cannot manually straighten your toes, surgery can be performed to reposition the joints.

Podiatrists are trained to recognize and diagnose claw toes and many other foot problems. Call for an appointment today to discuss any concerns you may have.