There are many causes for a Claw Toe or sometimes called a Hammertoe. In general, there is an imbalance between the tendon on the top of the toe and the tendon on the bottom. This can come from poor biomechanics or from diseases such as diabetic neuropathy or from injuries. The term stems from the toes' appearance—toes that look like claws digging down into the soles. Claw toe may lead to the formation of painful calluses. Claw toe worsens without treatment and may become a permanent deformity over time.
Common symptoms of claw toe include:
- Toes bent upward from the joints at the ball of the foot.
- Toes bent downward at the middle joints toward the sole of the foot.
- Corns on the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot.
Claw toe deformities are easier to repair when detected early while still in the flexible state. At this time, the tendon on the top of the toe and the tendon on the bottom of the toe can be relaxed allowing the toe to move in a more normal position. This is an office procedure that requires no time off of work. If the toe becomes rigid, it can still be corrected. This does involve some bone surgery and is done in the Ford Center for Foot Surgery.