If your toes are curved in such a way that the pads do not touch the floor, you may have hammer,
claw or mallet toes. Talk to our Atlanta podiatrist today. With early intervention these conditions
can be corrected without surgery. Allowed to worsen, they frequently require surgical
When should I suspect claw, hammer or mallet toes?
Don’t ignore toes that are bent or curled at new or strange angles. Toes may curl upward, to the
side or toward the floor. You may also experience pain, difficulty wearing shoes comfortably or
develop corns and callouses from excessive friction. As the condition worsens, walking can
How are these conditions treated?
It is important to talk with our Atlanta podiatrist for an early, accurate diagnosis. During your
visit we will discuss any symptoms you have experienced, typical footwear and recent activities.
We will also ask questions about your medical history. Some health concerns, such as diabetes,
are commonly associated with problems of the feet. A physical exam will help us determine the
severity of the problem. Generally speaking hammer, claw and mallet toes respond well to
treatment when the joints are still flexible. In these cases taping, pain relievers, joint stretching
exercises, footwear adjustments and shoe inserts often correct the problem.
A physical exam will help our Atlanta podiatrist determine if the affected toe joints are flexible
or fixed. Joints may become fixed without early intervention because tendons contract and
shorten. At this point the toe is rarely straightened without surgical intervention. Options include
implants to straighten the toe, joint fusion, and releasing tissues and tendons in the toe joint.
Hammer, claw and mallet toes are more common among women than in men. Improperly fitting
shoes, shoes with narrow toe boxes and high heels that push toes forward, are big contributors to
the problem. A good way to prevent these conditions, or avoid reoccurrence, is to wear shoes
that allow ample wiggle room for the toes.
Give us a call if you have questions. Our Board-certified Smyrna podiatrist has years of experience with treating a range of foot and ankle problems. Let us put our know-how to work for your healthy feet. We
have the information you need to make informed decisions about your treatment options. We can
help you understand your condition and recommend an individualized action plan. Schedule your