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Toe deformities are quite a common condition to see amongst the population. Claw toe is one such condition. It quite commonly affects the lesser digits at the feet and is illustrated in the image below.

Claw Toe




One of the most common causes of a toe deformity such as claw toes is footwear. Wearing ill-fitting shoes applies pressure to the digits and squeezes them. Shoes with poor support, that are short or high heels are examples of a few common factors in a shoe that can lead to deformities. Apart from footwear, there is said to be a neuromuscular factor which may play a role, as this causes weakness in the muscle tendons.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Callous or corns developing at the tip of the digit
  • Toes are bent upwards at the aspect of the toe nearer to the ball of the foot
  • Toes are bent downwards for the rest of the digit

Claw toes may present to be flexible initially and eventually become rigid.

Treatment plans

Treatment may include

  • Massage
  • Splints
  • Correcting footwear
  • Exercising toes
  • Use of pads to redistribute the pressure


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