Claw toes/ hammer toes/mallet toes are very common. Claw toes have one bend and mallet toes have two bend points. Both are associated with hallux valgus, due to pushing out of the toes. Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are two conditions associated with these deformities. The ball of the toe (metatarsal) can also be subluxated, in association with these deformities, thus giving rise to metatarsalgia.
Many times claw/hammer toes and metatarsalgia co-exist. Symptoms include pain in the toes or development of corns, calluses or even ulcers due to excessive pressure.
Hammer/mallet toes look literally like the object. They develop gradually and usually present with pain and calluses on the upper surface of tip of toes, as seen in the picture.
Usually involves usage of extra-depth, or extra width toe box shoes to relieve dorsal (top) toe pain due to calluses. Also patients having distressing dorsal corns and calluses might require removal.
When non-operative means have failed, surgery in the form of toe fusion with screw or k wire is done in the straightened position. Associated hallux valgus and metatarsalgia is also corrected at the same time.