Mallet Toe: A Forgotten Deformity

A mallet toe often gets confused with hammertoe and claw toe. It is common in your second toe because it is longer than the others though it can occur in your third or fourth toes. Like other toe deformities, it may not be so evident until you notice the pain. With a mallet toe, you will see an upward bending at your toe’s joint. The FDL and DIPJ are the parts of the body that the mallet toe involves. Instead of working together to have your toe hold the correct position, the muscle is tight, causing the joint to move upward. Unlike hammertoe and claw toe, which become stiff and immobile, sufferers of mallet toe may have the flexibility for long periods. It is when they lose the flexibility entirely that their toes will finally become rigid. Arthritis, tight shoes and imbalances in the muscles and bones, or injuries to your toes are common causes of this deformity.

How to Recognize Mallet Toe

The Toenails- if your toenails begin thickening and have changed, you will notice that your toe is negatively affected.

Toe pain- this will occur most often when you are walking or when you are wearing shoes.

Ulcers-if you experience ulcers, you will notice your toes being affected. In particular, if you have diabetes, you are at risk for ulcers. Ulcers lead to dangerous wounds that stay open, and then you are at risk for infection, sepsis, and gangrene. That can lead to amputation or death.

Corns and calluses will appear on the bend of the toe.

Redness occurs on the affected toe.

Swelling of the toe will also be present.

There are many remedies that your podiatrist will recommend for treating this condition, and almost all of them do not involve surgery. If, however, nothing helps, surgery will become necessary. In particular, if you have diabetes, you need to ensure that your feet stay clean, dry, and free of injuries or sores. You will also need to trim your toenails regularly.

Our team at Your Next Step Podiatry has offices in three locations. Serving the Paoli areas of Berwyn, Chester County, and the Western Suburbs, the Ardmore areas of Montgomery County, Greater Philadelphia and Lower Merion, and the Downingtown areas, an amazing team of specialized doctors are waiting to help you. Board-certified Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board qualified, offer a plethora of different treatments, including Achilles Tendonitis treatment and Plantar Fasciitis Treatment. Call our Downingtown office at (610) 873-0322 or our Ardmore office at (610) – 642-8837 to make an appointment.

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