A claw toe deformity is a condition where the toes curl onto themselves. It usually happens to the four smaller toes but not the big toe. The toe is initially bendable but eventually will become rigid, unbend-able and will then need surgery. This may take years & often occurs with a bulge on the inside of the big toe joint known as a bunion. It is very possible to prevent the toes from becoming rigid and avoiding surgery altogether by trying these conservative methods first.
Aka Hammer Toe Deformity, Claw Toe Deformity & Mallet Toe Deformity
Each of the small toes are composed of three bones, and 3 joints, the joint closest to the foot bends up and the other two joints bend down. This bending is due to tightening of the muscles at the top and bottom of the toe that are flexed abnormally. The joints are initially flexible and can be corrected without surgery, so it is essential that you try these methods because over a period of months or years the hammer toe will become rigid and the only way to correct the deformity at that point is with surgery.
If a hammertoe begins to develop corns and calluses on top of the toe and at the tip of the toe this leaves you are risk for bleeding underneath the callus, ulceration as well as extreme pain and your feet tiring out more quickly. The toe will likely also become swollen and bruised.
What can a Podiatrist do for you: