Claw & Hammertoes

A hammertoe is a deformity that causes your toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward. This can cause pain and difficulty when walking or wearing shoes. A claw toe is similar, but in addition to bending or curling downward, the middle joint of your toe also bends upward. This can make it difficult to put on shoes and can cause pain and calluses.

If you have a hammertoe or claw toe, you may be able to treat it with exercises, splinting, shoe inserts, or other conservative methods. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

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What Causes Hammertoes and Claw Toes?

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of hammertoes and claw toes, including:

  • Wearing shoes that are too tight or have high heels
  • Certain foot injuries or conditions, such as arthritis
  • Nerve damage from diabetes

How Are Hammertoes and Claw Toes Treated?

If you have a hammertoe or claw toe, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Exercises: These can help stretch and strengthen your toe muscles.
  • Splinting or padding: Your doctor may place a splint on the top of your toe to hold it in the correct position. They may also recommend that you wear shoes with more room in the toe area or place padding on your corns.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to release the tendon that is causing your toe to bend.

What happens if claw toes are not treated?

If you have claw toes and do not receive treatment, you may experience problems such as pain when walking or difficulty fitting into shoes. Untreated claw toes can also lead to corn formation on the top of your toe. Corns are areas of thickened skin that can be painful. Treatment for claw toes can help relieve pain and prevent corns from forming.

If your claw toes are not treated, they may become more severe and require surgery to correct the problem. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms due to a claw toe. Your doctor can help you determine the best treatment plan for your situation and recommend options that can help you manage your symptoms.

Find Help

Hammertoes and claw toes can be painful and difficult to deal with. However, there are several treatment options available. With proper treatment, you should be able to find relief from your symptoms and improve the function of your toe. If you are experiencing pain or difficulty due to a hammertoe or claw toe, talk to your doctor for more information and recommendations.