|This is not what we're talking about. Claw toe is a toe real deformity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
What causes a claw toe?
Claw toe is often lumped into the toe problem family with hammertoe and mallet toe. The difference lies in which toes and what joints are affected. When patients come into our Houston, TX office seeking treatment, they often believe bad shoes are to blame. Tight, pointed-toe shoes can aggravate toes and make existing deformities worse but are not usually the primary culprit. Trauma and inflammation can also cause this problem, but it is usually nerve damage that weakens muscles and causes toes to curl down abnormally. Diabetes and alcoholism are primary diseases that contribute to nerve damage in the feet.
Early treatment is key! Claw toes are often flexible at first but can progress and harden in place over time. Avoid this by looking for telltale signs: toes are bent upward at the joint nearest the forefoot, toes are bent downward at the middle joint, toes are bent downward at the top joint and corns on the tops of toes or under the ball of the foot.
We find our patients who are proactive at the beginning stages benefit greatly from simple shoe modifications, padding, splinting and taping and toe exercises. If your condition has progressed beyond these conservative measures, we can discuss more aggressive treatment options or the need for surgery.
Don’t let a toe deformity get to the point where you are stuck at home and unable to enjoy life like you should. We are here to help you! Contact or call Houston Foot Specialists at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment today.
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