Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Hammer,Claw,and Mallet Toes

Font Size

Exams and Tests

Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and past health and do a physical exam to diagnose hammer, claw, and mallet toes. People rarely need tests, but your doctor may use an X-ray to assess the bone structure, especially if you are considering surgery.

Your doctor will ask questions about:

Recommended Related to Bones and Joints

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Stress Fractures

Stress fractures usually cause dull pain around the site of the fracture. This pain usually worsens while exercising, walking, or standing. Another symptom is swelling in the area.

Read the Symptoms and Diagnosis of Stress Fractures article > >

  • Your symptoms, including when the problems started, what activities or shoes make them worse, and what other parts of the foot are painful. This includes asking about the shoes you wear at work and how much time you spend standing or walking every day.
  • The type of footwear you wear each day.
  • Any previous foot problems or treatment for foot problems you have had.
  • Other medical conditions that may be related. Such conditions include:
    • Joint diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis).
    • Brain, spinal cord, or nerve injury (such as diabetic neuropathy).
    • Shortened muscles (contractures).
    • Poor circulation of blood to the feet (peripheral arterial disease).

During the physical exam, your doctor will look at your foot:

  • While you stand, to diagnose the problem.
  • While you sit, to check whether the joint deformity is fixed or flexible.

If you are thinking about having surgery to correct your toe joint problem, you may need:

  • An X-ray, to help determine what type of surgery (if any) would be most helpful.
  • Blood flow testing (vascular testing), which may include Doppler ultrasound, if your condition suggests that blood flow to and from your foot is poor.
  • Nerve conduction testing, if your condition seems to involve problems with nerve function in your foot. If this is the case, you may need a doctor who specializes in the brain, spinal cord, or nerves (neurologist).
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

tea
What you should eat.
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
colon xray
Get the facts.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
fruit drinks
Foods that can help you focus.
Sad dog and guacamole
Don't feed this to your dog.
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.