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TOE DEFORMITIES

Examples & Characteristics of Toe Deformities

Claw toe:

This is described as the bending of the 1st and 2nd joints of the toes. Fixed or flexible, a claw toe is the bending of both joints resembling a “claw” and can affect multiple digits, but most commonly 2nd through 4th. 

Clawing of toes can be the result of poor fitting footwear; muscle atrophy, and/or neurological conditions.

Hammer toe:

This is described as the bending of the 2nd joint in the toe, or middle section of the toe. Hammer toes can be fixed or flexible, they can affect multiple digits but most commonly the 2nd and or 3rd. Hammer toes can be the result of poor mechanics, hallux valgus deformity, poor fitting footwear, muscle imbalance, and neurological conditions.

Mallet toe:

This is described as the bending of the last joint of the toe (end segment, holding the toenail). Mallet toes can be fixed or flexible, they can affect multiple digits but most commonly the 2nd toe. 

Due to the pull from the long flexor that helps curl and bend the toes during gait, muscle imbalances, atrophy or injury can cause/contribute to a mallet formation.

Active Alignment Treatment Options:

  • Custom Foot Orthotics
  • Therapeutic Footwear
  • Stretching with targeted exercises to address muscle weakness and imbalance, including videos
  • Therapeutic Massage Ball
  • Resistance Bands
  • Foot Care Nurse to manage and treat calluses, corns and thickened nails due to fixed/osseous positions