Toe joint deformities, such as
hammer, claw, and mallet toes, may be fixed or
flexible. In a fixed deformity, the toe joint cannot move normally. In a
flexible deformity, some movement is possible. You may be able to move your toe
with your hand but not be able to move it by itself, as you normally would. A
flexible deformity may become fixed over time if you do not treat it.
Whether your deformity is fixed or flexible can also affect treatment
A fixed deformity often requires surgery to be
A flexible deformity can sometimes be straightened without using
surgery. Stretching the joint or taping down the toe may work.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Gavin W.G. Chalmers, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.