Claw Toes

Claw toes can best be described as abnormal flexion in both toe joints of the lesser toe.

Claw Toes

The causes of claw toes are:

  1. Inappropriate footwear
  2. Flat feet
  3. Highly arched feet
  4. Hereditary factors
  5. Bunions
  6. Long toes
  7. Various diseases e.g. rheumatoid arthritis
  8. Trauma such as stubbing the toe

Symptoms of claw toes:

  1. Claw toes can be subject to cramping and on occasion can cause cramping within the foot or even the leg
  2. Corns may form on top of the toes as a result of pressure from a shoe, or on the end of the toes
  3. Bursitis that is inflammation of a small sac of fluid under the skin and overlying the joint. The top of the joints will appear red and swollen
  4. Ulceration can form particularly where the circulation is reduced
  5. Infection can be a complication of claw toes particularly where general health is not good

Treatment and advice for claw toes:

  1. Consideration of footwear is very important. A deep toebox with soft leather uppers is ideal. With certain medical conditions customised shoes are often required
  2. Good fitting hose which is not restrictive is advised
  3. Certain types of felt padding can be used to reduce pressure loading
  4. Applying an appropriate moisturising cream is often helpful
  5. The use of silicones, which can be purchased pre-packed in the form of tubes
  6. Podiatrists can mould silicone rubber to the toes, which is often very successful. For example a silicone prop to the second, third and fourth toes
  7. Routine footcare to address corns and callouses
  8. Specific footcare for episodes of bursitis, ulceration or infection associated with claw toes
  9. Consideration of a surgical procedure such as an arthroplasty for a permanent solution.
  10. Where there are claw toes and they are associated with biomechanical factors, orthoses can be very helpful in assisting with re-alignment, particularly for flexible claw toes.

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