Orthopedic Treatment For Claw Toe

by Administrator 21. August 2014 09:25

Claw Toe is an orthopedic condition that causes the toes to bend in the shape of a claw. This problem can be either evident at the time of birth or the feet may bend at a later age. Although claw toe in itself does not cause much discomfort but it is a cause of grave concern if the condition is triggered due to some underlying disorder such as diabetes or stroke. When suffering from claw toe one must seek medical assistance in order to prevent the condition from deteriorating.


Claw Toe is usually caused as a result of weak feet muscles. The wearying of these muscles can also be a side effect of some neurological condition such as:

  • Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Tumor of spinal cord
  • Alcoholism
  • Charcot Marie Tooth Disease
  • Stroke
  • Polio

The root cause of claw toe is the tightening of the toe tendons and ligaments. This, in turn, causes the toe joints to clasp and tilt upwards. Subsequently, shoes can hurt as they rub over the lifted toe which causes painful calluses and corns. If not treated properly, the toe may get perpetually rigid and fixed.


The affected toes develop a claw shaped malformation. Some other common symptoms of claw toe are:

  • Pain on the top of the curved toe while placing the foot in a shoe
  • Corns appearing over the joints of the toe
  • Swelling and redness in the toe joint
  • Pain under the curved toe in the ball of the foot
  • Difficulty and pain while trying to move the bent toe


Claw Toe can be successfully treated provided that medical help is sought at an early stage. Some of the conservative measures to cure this condition include:

  • Wearing shoes that have room which should be no less than ½ inch more in length than the longest toe.
  • Firming up the muscles with exercises like stretching and picking marbles with toes.
  • Widening the upper portion of the shoe to help moderate the pain.
  • Wearing soft and cushiony pads within the shoes over calluses and corns.

However, if the claw toe position has become rigid, surgery might be needed in order to realign the toe to its original position. The orthopedic foot surgeon may suggest cutting, enlarging or of the tendons to get the toe back to its original position.

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