What is a Claw Toe?

Claw toes occur when the lesser toe joints at the ball of the foot bend upwards and the joints further down the toe bend downwards. This occurs due to an imbalance between the muscles, tendons and ligaments of your toes. Variations include hammer and mallet toes. There may be no obvious cause but they can occur due to trauma, nerve conditions, other foot deformities, and types of arthritis. Claw toes are sometimes associated with bunions.

What are the Symptoms?

Claw toes may be painful in footwear or with bare feet depending on the deformity. Pain, corns or even ulcers may develop on the tops or tips of the toes or under the ball of the foot.

What is the Treatment?

A claw toe which is asymptomatic requires no treatment. Once symptoms occur, non-surgical treatment consists of comfortable footwear, toe spacers or pads. Orthotics can be helpful in those with flat feet or pain under the ball of the foot.

Failing non-surgical treatment, operative correction can be considered. The procedure is tailored to your specific condition, the severity, and the toes involved. A combination of bony and soft tissue procedures is often required. Bunion surgery may be performed if required at the same time.