Recognizing Claw Toe: And Seeking Treatment

You rely on your feet — not only to walk but to stand. As such, when something goes wrong with your feet, it can be disheartening. Luckily, podiatrists exist. They are doctors trained specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of foot problems. One particular foot problem to be aware of is claw toe. Here's a look at the symptoms, causes, and what a podiatrist can do to help you if diagnosed.

Symptoms of Claw Toe

The symptoms of claw toe are fairly obvious once you know what you're looking at. One toe will begin to remain in an upward-bent position, reaching toward the sky. Sometimes, the toe next to it will start moving into the opposite position – bend downward. This may start off subtly and become more and more noticeable over time. People often develop corns or calluses on the affected toes because they hit their shoes in unusual ways. Sometimes, the toes may ache, and other times, the only discomfort is from the pressure of shoes.

Causes of Claw Toe

Claw toe can be congenital. Some people are born with shorter ligaments in their toes, and they contract more completely over time, leading to the claw toe appearance. Other times, the condition is the result of an old injury. It can be made worse by wearing shoes that don't fit, but this is not usually the core cause of claw toe.

Treatment for Claw Toe

If you catch the condition when it's in its earlier stages and you can still bend the toes back by hand, you'll have a lot more treatment options. A podiatrist can order you a custom splint that you can wear in your shoes and to bed. This should keep your toes from rubbing while also helping to slow the progression of claw toe.

If your toes are stiff and won't bend, then treatment will be more intensive. Surgery is usually required. The affected ligaments are snipped to release the stuck toe joint. Some of the bone may also be shaved away to allow the toe to flatten as usual. The recovery period lasts a few months, and most patients need some physical therapy to get them back on their feet.

Claw toe can be a minor annoyance, or it can be a major pain. If you think you're developing this condition, see a foot doctor. The earlier you seek care, the less intensive the care tends to be. 

About Me

Preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant

About six months ago, my wonderful father discovered he had an aggressive form of lymphoma. At this time, his doctor informed him he would need to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. My dad’s physician also told him he would need to have a stem cell transplant immediately after he completed the chemotherapy. To prepare for the stem cell transplant, my father was put on a special diet. His doctor recommended he eat a lot of protein. My dad was also told to drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. On this blog, I hope you will learn smart tips to help you or one of your loved ones prepare for a stem cell transplant. Enjoy!


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