Treatments and operations for claw-toe
At the very beginning, rehabilitation and chiropody can help prevent claw-toe worsening, but only surgery can ensure complete correction.
Medical treatment and chiropody
Rehabilitation can help prevent claw-toe worsening, but the contribution is quite minor. Chiropody helps combat the development of corns and reduces pain but, sadly, the corns inevitably return. Devices such as orthoses, insoles, braces and spacers bring relief, but cannot prevent aggravation.
Only surgery can completely correct these deformities and prevent pain, but at the cost of leaving the toe definitively rigid. Once a joint has been stiffened surgically, it will never recover its mobility. A stiff, twisted and painful toe will still be stiff, but straight and painless. Walking and wearing shoes will no longer be painful.
Surgical techniques for claw-toe consist in forced lengthening of the joints, which are then temporarily or definitively fixed by pins or internal implants. Pins are simple and inexpensive and can be used in any kind of deformity; however, they have to be removed, due to transient pain; they have to be tolerated for 4 to 6 weeks, with local care and likely superficial infection; and they make the toe rigid like a drumstick, without any slight flexion. And they cross all of the toe joints, including the healthy ones, leaving them rigid.
When possible, small internal implants are used, which do not have all of these drawbacks and fix the toe in a more anatomic and functional position.