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06 Claw toes / hammer toes

The terms claw toes or hammer toes are used synonymously. Our task is to find the cause, because the small toes are small but have several joints, bones, tendons, nerves and vessels.


Often, only the second toe claws, which is subject to mechanical overload, especially with a long second toe and hallux valgus. If all toes start to claw, a so-called polyneuropathy may be present (systemic damage to several peripheral nerves), which is common in older age. In younger persons, the cause must be sought (e.g., diabetes).

Surgical treatment

Good reasons for surgery are pain and pressure points to sores.

Why do we recommend operating the hallux if only the claw toe bothers? Unfortunately, if the hallux takes the place of the little ones, we cannot avoid the correction of the big toe.

A single claw toe can also be operated on an outpatient basis, more complex operations need 2 - 4 days stay in hospital. When the claw toe correction is healed, you can do sports again without any restrictions.

Surgical methods

1. lengthening of the flexor tendon responsible for claw toe.

This is possible under local anesthesia in our consultation room. It does not affect the weight-bearing capacity of the foot. A special shoe is not necessary after this procedure.

2. shortening the toe

Usually the middle joint is removed, and a pin is inserted in the bone.

3. intervention on the metatarsophalangeal joint

Sometimes the second toe is dislocated at the base joint. To stabilize this, the metatarsal must be shortened.

Left: claw toe before the surgery / right: after the surgery

Schedule an appointment with us so we can find the best treatment option for you.


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