What to Know About Toe Deformities

Here at Joint Replacement Surgery we’re not just experts in knee replacement surgery in London, we’re also well versed in taking care of your feet. We use our feet every single day without paying any heed to their condition. When we run over hard ground, tip-toe down staircases and even walk around all day, our feet are hard at work keeping us balanced and stable. It’s very important, while we’re on our feet all day, to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and to help prevent the occurrence of toe deformities.


  What Are Toe Deformities? Toe deformities can happen throughout a person’s life and for a number of reasons. We most commonly find those in their 70’s-80’s at greater risk of developing toe deformities through a weakening in bones and a lifetime of wearing ill-fitting shoes. There are three very common types of toes deformities an individual can suffer from, depending on the extent of the deformities can also depend on how much pain the person experiences.

 Claw Toe

Commonly, claw toes have been associated with wearing shoes that are too small for your feet, forcing your toes up and damaging your toes. In effect claw toes can be caused by nerve damage which may weaken the muscles in your toes. A claw toe forces your proximal interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joint (the second and third joints) to bend down while your metatarsophalangeal joint (the joint connecting your toe to your foot) is forced up, creating a claw.

Foot Fungus

Hammer Toe

A hammer toe can form when the toes are put under pressure, usually from footwear or previous foot trauma. The muscles and tendon imbalance in the toes force the proximal interphalangeal joint (the middle toe joint) up whilst the metatarsophalangeal joint is forced down. This creates a hammer like formation of the toe though which can be gradual and lead to a painful change to the toe structure.

Mallet Toe

Unlike the previous two toe formations, mallet toe only affects one joint, the distal interphalangeal joint. This condition prevents the toe from straightening fully, instead the distal interphalangeal joint is forced down, causing the top of the joint to rub against the roof of the shoe causing corns. Again, while ill-fitting shoes can be a cause of mallet toe, so too can Rheumatoid arthritis.   Causes of Toe Deformities It’s not just poorly fitted shoes which can cause deformities in your toes; there are a number of factors to consider such as:

  • Genetics
  • Bunions
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis,
  • Tendon Imbalance
  • Neurological Issues
  • or traumatic injuries

If your toes are causing you pain or even discomfort, it’s a good idea to visit your GP to have the severity of your toe deformity checked. If surgery is needed to correct the joints, ease any pain and give you a stable and functional toe again, we offer expert, caring toe deformity surgery.

Foot injury (toe)

We understand that any type of surgery is very personal to you which is why we encourage you to contact us on 07943 947 639 and we’ll answer any questions you may have. If you’d like to stay up to date with our latest news and updates, don’t forget to follow and like our Facebook and Twitter pages!