Treatment - How can I help

Claw Toe

Other Popular Names

Who does it affect?

People often blame the common foot deformity claw toe on wearing shoes that squeeze your toes, such as shoes that are too short or high heels. However, claw toe also is often the result of nerve damage caused by diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, which can weaken the muscles in your foot. Having claw toe means your toes "claw," digging down into the soles of your shoes and creating painful calluses. Claw toe gets worse without treatment and may become a permanent deformity over time.



If you have symptoms of a claw toe, see a consultant for evaluation. You may need certain tests to rule out neurological disorders that can weaken your foot muscles, creating imbalances that bend your toes. Trauma and inflammation can also cause claw toe deformity.

Non-surgical Treatment

Claw toe deformities are usually flexible at first, but they harden into place over time. If you have claw toe in early stages, your consultant may recommend a splint or tape to hold your toes in correct position. Additional advice:

If you have claw toe in later stages and your toes are fixed in position:

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is occasionally recommended to correct claw toes that cannot be successfully treated non-operatively. There are a variety of procedures that have been described, and often a combination of procedures is performed. Because the deformity occurs as a result of a muscle imbalance, tendon transfer or lengthening may be needed in order to enact a long-term correction and minimize the risk of a recurrence. Common procedures that may be used in combination with others include:


General risks

Specific Complications

However, these risks do not ocur often and most patients are happy with the results from this surgery.

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