What are Claw Toes?

Having a claw toe means that your toe, or toes, is digging down into the soles of your shoes and causing the toe to develop calluses. Without treatment, claw toe can worsen over time, and eventually become a permanent deformity. Luckily, claw toe deformities tend to be flexible when they first develop, allowing our team at IBJI to put preventative measures in place that can help correct the claw toe. 

Signs and Symptoms of Claw Toes

Patients often arrive at IBJI with toe pain that they attribute to wearing shoes that squeeze the toes together, such as improperly sized shoes or high heels. While this is the most common cause of claw toe, claw toe can also be brought on by nerve damage caused by alcoholism or diabetes, which weakens the muscles in and around the foot and ankle.

Treatment Options for Claw Toes

Shoe choice is often the first place that Dr. Vora directs patients who are suffering from claw toe. Finding a shoe with a soft, roomy toe box is important to allow the toe to realign itself. Avoid high heels and shoes that are very tight in the front and sides.

Daily stretching and manual manipulation of the toes and toe joints is also encouraged. There are exercises for your toes, such as picking up marbles from the floor, or using your toes to crumple up a towel laid flat on the floor, which can help any pain and discomfort.

Later in life, claw toe becomes much more rigid, and becomes more difficult to correct. Many patients find that utilizing a special pad in the bottom of their shoe to help redistribute weight can relieve pressure on the ball of the foot. Often times, shoe repair shops are able to alter shoes to have a larger toe box to accommodate the claw toe deformity.

In certain cases, outpatient surgery can be performed to correct clawtoe deformities.

Claw Toe Treatment in Illinois

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your toes, it’s best to have them checked out by a specialist. As a board certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in disorders of the foot and ankle, Dr. Anand Vora would be happy to meet with you to discuss your options on how to alleviate any pain caused by claw toes. For more information about his office locations or to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Vora today. He will be happy to help you live a pain free life!