Hammer, Claw and Mallet toes

What are Hammer, Claw and Mallet toes?

Hammer and Claw toes are deformities of the lesser toes (the ones next to the big toe) and are usually cause by tendon or joint imbalances. Living with hammer or claw toes can be difficult as not only can they be painful but they are also unsightly which can cause a loss in confidence when wearing certain types of footwear. Hammer and Claw toes promote the growth of painful corns on the skin overlying the joints which causes them to be particularly uncomfortable to live with.

What causes it?

Hammer toes often develop in association with bunions. As the big toe bends inwards, the pressure shifts to the second toe causing damage to ligaments and buckling of the joints.

Day case surgical intervention

Hammer, mallet or claw toe can be permanently corrected, preventing the formation of painful corns on skin overlying these joints. Surgery involves fusion of the deformed joint either with a small implant or surgical pin which is removed after 4-6 weeks. Surgery is undertaken as a day case procedure under local anaesthetic either with or without sedation.

Recovery
Recovery generally takes around 4-6 weeks.