The main causes
Modern shoes wearing favours the appearance of claw toes due to lack of use of certain muscles during the step. However we often find a specific cause.
1 – Hallux valgus: main cause.
Hallux valgus causes a lack of support under the first toe, thus an overload on the lateral toes, starting with the 2nd. In the long run, this hyper-support generates pains under the 2nd ray (metatarsalgia), then a claw, at first reducible, then irreducible. This is the stage of the hallux valgus «decompensated».
2 – The anterior round foot.
This is characterized by an excess of length of the middle metatarsals bones (2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsals) compared to the 1st metatarsal. It produces the same effects as the bankruptcy of the support under the first head in the framework of hallux valgus.
3 – The Greek forefoot
The Greek forefoot is characterized by a second toe longer than the big toe. If this excess length is significant, the 2nd toe is pushed back by the toe of the shoe to align with the 1st toe, resulting in a claw deformation.
4 – The cavus foot
The claw toes are a usual reason for consultation in the cavus foot (foot with excessive verticalization of the metatarsals). The origin of the hollow foot is sometimes neurological and will have to be specified before any therapeutic decision.
5 – Neurological and Muscular Causes
Muscle disorders (affecting the leg muscles) or neurological disorders (due to dysharmony in the functioning of the tendons) can also cause claws.
6 – Other: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Posttraumatic Claw, congenital