What is wrong with my foot?
The toes have buckled making some of the joint prominent. This causes rubbing on the joints making them red and painful. Hard skin often develops at these pressure sites. If the toes have been in this position for a long time then arthritis will develop.
Why has this happened?
Buckling of the toes is quite common. There are many causes including; the presence of a bunion, being flatfooted, having toes that are too long, or wearing ill-fitting shoes. Some people have nerve problems which also cause clawing.
Do I have to have an operation?
Pads, splints, foot orthoses and special shoes can be used to provide comfort but are unlikely to straighten the toe. If the toe is still uncomfortable despite these measures then an operation will usually be recommended. For more information please read our Lesser Toe Hammer-Claw-Mallet Toe leaflet or visit our 'Surgery' patient information pages.