Hammer/Claw Toes

What is it?

The lesser toes (all the toes other than the big toe) need room to remain straight and flat on the floor. A number of things, including bunions and shoes that are too tight, may leave them unable to do this. If this happens, they often curl over.

What causes it?

  • If the big toe points far enough towards the second toe, it may tuck underneath, causing the second toe to lift up.
  • If the ray of the foot is too long, the tendons may be too tight resulting in the toe being pulled up in the air.
  • Shoes that are too tight may also result in the toes being pushed up and rubbing on the shoe.

What are the symptoms?

Toes that curl over often rub on shoes leaving corns or calluses on the top of the toes. They may also cause pain underneath, in the ball of the foot.

How is the diagnosis made?

The doctor will listen to the description of the symptoms and will examine the foot and ankle. Plain X-rays are usually sufficient to make the diagnosis.

What is the initial treatment?

Wearing wider and deeper shoes often resolves the symptoms. This may also be helped with an insole designed to share the weight more equally across the foot.

If initial treatment doesn't work, what's next?

Our practice covers the following hospitals:

Parkside Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 971 8026

St Anthony's Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 335 4678

Ashtead Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 221441

New Victoria Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 9499000

Clock House Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 840837