What are hammer, claw and mallet toes?

Hammer, claw and mallet toes arise when the muscles that control your toes get out of balance and cause the toe to bend in an odd position in one or more joints.  These toe problems usually occur in the smaller toes.  Toe deformities develop over the years and are more common in adults than children.

Causes of Toe Deformities:

Genetics and tight shoes are the most common cause of toe problems. Problems with foot structure at birth my result in toe problems.  These problems may be familial joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Neurological problems such as stroke, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, and a degenerative disk disease can result in toe deformities. Lack of activity can result in contractures which can result in toe problems.  Injuries and changes to your circulation and diseases such as diabetes, can result in toe shape changes.

Treatment Options:

Hunt Footcare will examine your feet and diagnosis the cause of your toe deformity and rule out any underlying medical conditions.  Treatment may involve routine care to debride calluses and corns that are often associated with toe deformities.  Padding and a digital splint may be required to alleviate pressure.  Custom orthotics may be required to balance the foot mechanically to reduce the progression of the toe deformity. If conservative measurements fail in eliminating or alleviating the symptoms than surgical management may be required.

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