A claw toe can cause discomfort and pain that can prevent you from walking, especially when your toe repeatedly rubs against your shoe.

The support of the pulp of the toe on the sole can be painful and one regularly finds a corn at the level of the flexion of the joint of the phalanx of the toe. The formation of this corn is the result of a conflict between your toe and the upper of the shoe. This is why we recommend a shoe with a flexible upper, even stretchy to leave the necessary space for the toes and cause immediate relief.

Metatarsalgia can appear as part of this foot pathology.

With this type of toe deformity, you may tend to change the way you walk to avoid a painful position. Unfortunately, this analgesic walk, with a different support, can cause pain in other joints such as the ankle, knee or hip.

Do not advise you to consult your doctor or a health professional specialized in foot pathologies if you have any of these symptoms.

The consultation will make it possible to make a complete podiatric assessment and to direct you to the health professional most adapted to your case. Whether it’s a podiatrist or a podo-orthist for making plantar orthoses, a physiotherapist for toe rehabilitation or a surgeon

A doctor can usually diagnose scratch toe during a physical exam. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, may be needed if you have suffered a bone, muscle, or ligament injury to the toe.


The severity of the deformities will determine the possible options for relieving you. If the deformation is slight, an orthoplasty and/or an orthopedic insole with suitable shoes is often sufficient. If the deformity is major, surgical treatment may be considered.

In any case, your doctor will be best able to choose the appropriate treatment.

For slight deformation

You can correct a claw toe caused by inadequate footwear by wearing appropriate orthopedic shoes . If a cavus foot is the cause of this condition, wearing toe pads or orthopedic insoles can help modify the painful support.

Claw toe selection

It will also be necessary to treat corns and other calluses that can develop with pedicure care to avoid all kinds of complications. For this, you will need a consultation with a pedicure who can, if necessary, make you an orthoplasty. This helps relieve chafing pain by protecting the phalangeal joint which is in conflict with the shoe.

Gently stretching your toes can also help relieve pain and reposition the affected toe. This type of rehabilitation can be done at home or with a physical therapist .

The main complications if you do not treat your claw toes are premature osteoarthritis of the phalanx joints and fixation of the deformities that would lead to surgery.

For a major deformation

If you are unable to flex your toe, surgery is the only option to restore movement. Surgery repositions the toe, removes deformed or injured bone, and realigns tendons and joints. Surgical operation is very often necessary when there is dislocation of the phalangeal joints or when non-reducible stiffness is installed.

The procedure is normally performed on an outpatient basis , under local anesthesia , so you can go home the day of the operation.

If possible, the specialist will use a percutaneous surgical technique. This technique is less invasive and allows faster healing and postoperative convalescence. It also reduces the risk of infection and complications, because only small incisions are made.

In some cases, conventional surgery will be necessary. In particular if the deformities require the practice of an osteotomy (bone shortening) associated with an arthrodesis (Fixing the alignment with rods) to put the toes back in the axis.

Your surgeon will be best able to explain to you the procedure for the surgical treatment of your claw toes. Generally, he takes advantage of the operation to remove the corns and calluses that could have formed and can also restore the normal support of your foot.

Regarding the duration of the convalescence , it will obviously depend on the technique used and on you, but it frequently varies from 3 to 8 weeks.


The best way to prevent claw toe is to wear proper footwear .

If you wear high heels, the heel height should be less than or equal to 5 cm. Wearing high-heeled shoes increases the pressure on your toes and causes them to bend. It can also cause the formation of corns and the appearance of pes cavus.

After treating the cause of this deformity, it usually disappears without complications. However, if you wait too long before seeking treatment, your surrounding toes may become deformed from the pressure of the deformed toe. It is best to seek treatment as soon as the diag

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