Claw Toe Deformity Treatment in North Richland Hills, TX
Claw toe is a foot deformity which commonly affects your four smaller toes. Claw toe occurs as the result of a muscle imbalance which causes the ligaments and tendons of your toe to become unusually tight. In a case of claw toe, your toes would bend upward at the ball of your foot and then downward at the middle joint. In some cases, your toe will also bend down at the top joint and curl under your foot. Some people are born with claw toe, but there are also other causes. This painful condition can also cause your toes to develop calluses and corns, and, in some rare cases, infection and foot or toe ulcers. Some people find that they have issues with balance and difficulty walking.
Claw toe is generally reversible. If caught in the early stages of development, while the deformity is still flexible, your healthcare provider could correct it with a splint or tape to hold your toes in place until they heal. However, if the deformity hardens, more drastic intervention, such as surgery, may be necessary to achieve sustained relief.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in North Richland Hills that can provide claw toe treatment, call (817) 203-2760 or contact Dr. Jessica Stangenwald online.
Toe Deformities: What Distinguishes a Claw Toe?
A claw toe should not be confused with a hammertoe, a toe deformity that can often result in a bunion, or a mallet toe, a similar toe deformity that can result from injury, muscle imbalances or arthritis. A claw toe deformity primarily differs from hammertoe and mallet toe by the direction in which the deformity causes the toes to bend. A claw toe bends up at the joint, while both hammer toes and mallet toes bend downward at the joint. A claw toe also typically affects all four smaller toes at once while a hammer toe usually impacts your second toe.
What Causes Claw Toe
Claw toe is often considered the result of wearing tightly-fitting shoes that restrict your feet, squeezing your toes and ultimately causing foot deformity; while this may occur in certain circumstances, it is misleading and it is important to distinguish that the actual cause of claw toe is more often nerve damage caused by diseases such as diabetes and alcoholism, which can lead to weakened muscles in your feet.
Other potential conditions which may put you at a risk of developing claw toe include:
- Ankle fractures or surgery
- Spinal cord tumors
- Cerebral palsy
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Other brain and nervous system disorders
Claw Toe Diagnosis and Treatment
In cases of genetically driven claw toe, reversal of the deformity is possible. Claw toes are flexible at first, able to be corrected with minor mediations such as temporarily wearing a splint or tape to hold the toes in the correct position and to heal naturally. Over time, however, your toes may harden in place and require more invasive intervention. Getting in touch with a healthcare provider as soon as you notice abnormalities in your feet or toes is thus ideal as claw toe can worsen without treatment. Your healthcare provider will begin by performing a physical exam of your feet to check for pain, abnormal shape in your foot or toes, calluses, corns, ulcers and joint issues. If your toe joints still have some flexibility to them, you may be able to avoid surgery by:
- Wearing shoes that offer good arch support and fit properly
- Wearing items that offer some foot support such as moleskin, toe tubes and arch support inserts or other inserts
- Exercising proper care of calluses and corns on your feet with over-the-counter medicines
- Using over-the-counter pain medications
In instances where your toes are no longer flexible and surgery may be required, your healthcare provider may want to:
- X-ray your feet to help determine the best type of surgery
- Check the blood flow to your feet to determine if there are any circulation issues or not
- Perform nerve testing to check for nerve issues in your feet that may be causing improper feeling in your feet (neuropathy issues)
In more severe instances of claw toe, claw toe surgery may be recommended by your healthcare provider to correct the deformity, and to provide sustained relief and improved foot health. If this is the case, your procedure may include lengthening and rerouting the tendons in your foot, shortening the bones of the phalanx or possibly inserting a steel pin to temporarily hold the correct position of the toe until proper healing takes place.
Request more information about claw toe deformity treatment today. Call (817) 203-2760 or contact Dr. Jessica Stangenwald online.
The New You Medical & Infusion Clinic
Address100 Grapevine Hwy
Hurst, TX 76054
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm