See pictures of
hammer, claw, and mallet toes .
In more severe cases, these toe
problems may affect your balance and make it hard to walk. You may get
calluses or corns where a bent toe presses against
another toe or your shoe.
How are hammer, claw, and mallet toes diagnosed?
Your doctor will diagnose your toe problem by
looking at your toes and asking you questions about your symptoms. People
rarely need tests. Your doctor may suggest an
X-ray to look at the bone structure, especially if you
are thinking about having surgery.
How are they treated?
You can treat hammer, claw, and mallet toes at
home by wearing footwear with lots of room for your toes, using pads and
supports in the shoe, and doing toe exercises. Doing these things will give the
toe room to straighten, cushion the toe and hold it straight, and make the toe
muscles stronger and more flexible. You can use
over-the-counter medicine to treat pain.
If your pain is too great or you cannot easily do daily activities, then
surgery is possible. But there is not much research on surgeries for these toe
problems. Talk to your doctor about the types of surgeries and how much they
may help you.
Surgery may not help how your foot looks, and your
toe problem may also come back after surgery. This is more likely if you
continue to wear the types of shoes that cause toe problems.
Learning about hammer, claw, and mallet toes:
Living with hammer, claw, and mallet toes: