The difference between claw toe and hammertoe has to do with the joints that are affected by each condition. Claw toe develops when the two end joints in your little digits bend and curl under, while the joint at the ball of the foot bends upward slightly, creating the claw-like look. It can affect any or all of the smaller toes, and often impacts all four at once. Hammertoe occurs when the middle joint of any of the small digits becomes fixed in a bent position. The second toe is the most commonly affected, and usually only one or two digits have the problem at once.
Because these are different problems, they have slightly different causes and treatments. However, they share the same risk. Both need to be treated before they progress too far; otherwise, the conditions may become permanent issues. If you’re concerned about your toes, let Dr. Darren Silvester know here at Next Step Foot & Ankle clinic so you can receive the appropriate care. Call (830) 569-3338 or use the online request form to reach us for an appointment.