Mallet Toe

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What is a Mallet Toe?

A Mallet toe occurs when the Distal Phalanx (the joint located at the tip of the toe) cannot straighten. The pain you experience is the result of excessive rubbing against the top of the shoe and which leads to the development of a corn.

A common cause of this disorder is bone and muscle imbalances. It typically occurrences: people who are active, or are on their feet for long periods of time, wear restrictive poor fitting shoes, or have arthritic joints.

Sypmtoms of Mallet Toe

  • Deformity / prominence of toe
  • Pain
  • Redness around the toe joints
  • Swelling around the joints
  • Corn / Callous
  • Difficulty wearing shoes
  • Difficulty when  walking
  • Stiffness in the joints of the toe


  • Ignoring any symptoms of discomfort can lead to tissue breakdown and possible infection.
  • Conservative treatment would aim to relieve pressure and lessen friction.
  • Shoes with a high and broad toe box are recommended.
  • Gel supports offer immediate comfort without drying the skin

When is Foot Surgery Necessary

Early detection can be treated nonsurgically. When conservative methods do not control the problem, surgery may be necessary.  Surgical treatment usually involves the shortening of the toe and the removal of the corn which has developed.

Meet Advanced Footcare Group

Advanced Footcare Group is led by the surgical expertise of renowned podiatrist, Dr. Howard D. Zaiff, D.P.M., FACFAS. Dr. Zaiff and his staff are dedicated to providing you with consistent quality care and innovative solutions that focus on the state of your well-being. The entire... Learn More »

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