Claw & Hammer Toe

What Is A Claw or Hammer Toe?

The claw toe and hammer toe deformities are conditions that are primarily caused by the wearing of footwear that is too tight and fits poorly. In some individuals, these deformities can be congenital or due to other problems.

What Causes A Claw or Hammer Toe?

The claw toe and hammer toe deformities are conditions that are primarily caused by the wearing of footwear that is too tight and fits poorly. In some individuals, these deformities can be congenital or due to other problems.

What Are The Symptoms of A Claw or Hammer Toe?

Claw toes appear exactly as their name would suggest, like a closed fist. Because of the joint variations of the toes (big toes have two bones, the other toes have three), claw toes cannot occur in the big toe. Claw toes are the result of a muscle imbalance that causes some of the tendons and ligaments to become unnaturally tight. The cause of this imbalance includes rheumatoid arthritis, neuromuscular disorders, or other conditions. Because of the deformity, a rigid claw toe has very limited mobility and can be very painful.

A hammer toe is classified on the degree of mobility found in the joint itself. There are two types: rigid and flexible. A rigid hammer toe simply does not have much ability to move and even minimal movement can be painful. A flexible hammer toe, however, does have the ability to move and can be straightened manually.

What Are The Treatment Options For A Claw or Hammer Toe?

Proper footwear is perhaps the most important consideration in the treatment of claw and hammer toes. The proper shoe should provide an adequate toe area to accommodate the claw toes. Select a shoe with a high, broad toe box that provides enough room in the front area to reduce friction against the toes.

Other treatment options include purchasing foot products specifically designed to relieve claw toes, such as hammer toe splints and toe crests. These are designed to help hold down the deformed toes and provide much needed relief to the foot. Silicone toe caps and gel toe shields are also recommended to help eliminate friction between the toe and shoe, while providing lubrication and comfort.

Surgery to remove a portion of the bone joint is also often successful in correcting these deformities.

Our team is here for you

We offer the best, least invasive and least aggressive options to relieve your pain and symptoms so you can get back to the life you love. Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists Foot & Ankle Care Center has convenient locations in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake.

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