There is a similarity between mallet, claw and hammer toes. The biggest difference is they usually affect different joints. Also, with a mallet toe, the end joint collapses. Symptoms include redness, pain, swelling and calluses from the position of the affected toe, and because of the rubbing that occurs within the shoe.
Causes of Mallet Toes
Mallet toes are caused by a variety of factors:
- Uncomfortable Shoes - If you are wearing shoes that don't fit properly, it could lead to mallet toes. The same goes for women, who are always wearing high heels, or pointed toes that bunch the feet together.
- Hereditary - Genetics can cause mallet toes, too.
- Diabetes - Diabetes doesn't directly cause mallet toes or other foot deformities. However, diabetes can cause nerve damage, and it makes people more susceptible to injure their toes and not know it, because of loss of sensation in the foot. Diabetics should be on the lookout for any foot problem, because it could later lead to an amputation.
- Trauma - If you have previously injured your toes in some traumatic way, it could later cause mallet toes.
- Flat feet - Flat feet can also lead to mallet toes.
- Tendon imbalance - This is caused when you have foot problems, and the tendons tighten or stretch to try and correct the foot.
Treatment for Mallet Toes
- Non-Surgical - Shoe inserts and wraps can help realign the toes.
- Padding - Pads help to lessen the pressure on the joint.
- Surgery - When the deformity is in an advanced stage, it will remain permanent, unless it is surgically repaired. This will help stabilize the toes, and will relieve the pain.
Mallet toes can be a serious problem that should be checked by your podiatrist. Always see your podiatrist to help properly diagnose your foot problems. Contact Talus InMotion Foot & Ankle today.