This unappealing-looking and painful deformation is a contraction or flexion of one or two joints of the second, third, fourth or (rarely) fifth toe. This abnormal flexion can involve a pressure on the foot, which induces troubles with footwear. What are the clinical signs? – Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes – Development of heloses (skin thickening) on the top, the side, the end of the toe or in between toes. These heloses are the consequences of constant friction against shoes, they can be soft or hard depending on their location. – Development of calluses (another type of skin accumulation) under the toes or under feet.
A number of non-surgical treatments can be undertaken: trimming heloses and calluses, padding heloses and calluses, changing shoes, wearing orthopaedic soles.
These treatments offer transitory relief but cannot correct the mechanical foot modifications that cause claw toes.
In some cases, usually when the claw toe has become stiff, surgery appears necessary to definitely ease the induced pain and discomfort. Your orthopedic surgeon will look through all options and select an action plan fitted to your needs. He will take into account the type of shoes you wear, their wear and tear, the number of deformed toes, your activity level, your age and the seriousness of the deformations. Arthrodesis is a technique which consists in straightening up the two curled up parts and then attach the small joint. Formerly stabilized by external and visible pins, arthrodesis can now get stabilized by an internal implant. No need to be bothered anymore by pins that jut out from the toe.
Moreover an internal implant significantly reduces infection risks and thanks to its great stability it ensures optimal functional and aesthetic results and an important reduction of pain and edema.
This operation procedure is most often performed under local anesthesia. Walking is immediate with the aid of specific shoes and a simple post-operative protection. Regarding showers, they are possible very soon after the operation in the case of an isolated claw toe treated with an internal implant.