What are claw toes?

Claw toes occur when your toe physically digs into the ground, creating painful calluses. Some people may think it is the result of wearing tight shoes, but in fact, it is related to diabetic or alcoholic nerve damage that results in the toe clawing downwards. If left untreated, claw toe can result in a permanent deformity over time. It can weaken the muscles in your foot making it hard to walk. If you are looking for treatment, contact Dr. Jeffrey S. Muroff, our podiatrist near Centereach, for help. His clinic offers advanced technology and expertise with decades of experience in the field to help you get back on your feet again.

Symptoms of Claw Toe

Toes are bent downwards (flexion) at the middle joints towards the sole of the shoe.

Toes are bent upwards (extension) from the joints at the ball of the foot.

Toes may curl underneath the foot.

Corns may develop over the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot.


Proper evaluation involves the expertise of a podiatrist. He/she may order nerve conduction studies, imaging, and/or certain clinical tests to rule out neurological disorders that can result in muscle atrophy. Two additional causes of claw toe include trauma and inflammation.


The treatment of claw toe is often conservative at first because all toes are flexible. A special pad can be used to redistribute the weight of the ball of your foot to over the entire foot. This requires a special fitting from a podiatrist. Exercising the toes to increase flexibility may be necessary. For example, you can exercise the toes by picking up a marble or picking up a crumpled tissue off the floor with the toes. This will relax the muscles and keep them from tightening. In extreme cases, a surgical release may be necessary.

It is important to have the right team taking care of you in the management of claw toes. Contact Dr. Jeffrey Muroff for trustworthy, experienced podiatric care. His office has served the Ronkonkoma area and helped thousands of patients over the past decade. When looking for a podiatrist near Centereach, contact Dr. Muroff today to help you reach your goals!

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