Claw Toe

Claw toe

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What is claw toe? Learn more about this condition


Claw toe is a deformity, where a toe bends and appears like a bird’s claw. The affected toe is bent upward from the joint at the ball of the foot and downward at the joints in the middle and also tip of the toe to curl under the foot.

Claw toes are classified based on the mobility of the toe joints. There are two types – flexible and rigid. In a flexible claw toe, the joint has the ability to move. This type of deformity can be straightened manually.

A rigid claw toe does not have that same ability to move. In addition, movement is very limited. It can also be extremely painful. This sometimes causes foot movement to become restricted leading to extra stress at the ball-of-the-foot, and possibly causing pain and the development of corns and calluses.

What are the causes of claw toe?

Claw toe can occur in the four toes other than the big toe due to nerve damage, which weakens the muscles. They may be present at birth or acquired later due to other disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy and brain injury. Women commonly affect more than men. It is because claw toes can also form by wearing very tight or high-heeled shoes.

Treatment of claw toe

Treatment is usually able to relieve pain and symptoms and can include:

  • Prescription footwear designed to avoid pressure on the toes
  • Prescription of Orthotics to relieve pressure on the toe
  • Splints and Straps to help realign the toe
  • Cushions or Pads to prevent skin breakdown
  • Removal of Corns and Calluses (if present)
Are you experiencing this condition? One of our podiatrist can assist and recommend what treatment options are best to get you back on track.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞



We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



Check our latest blog Curly Toes here ‎

Check our blog about Plantar Plate Injury here

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