Claw toes may be present at birth (congenital). The condition can also develop later in life because of other disorders (acquired). Claw toes may be caused by a nerve problem in the legs or a spinal cord problem. The cause is unknown in many cases.
Most of the time, claw toes are not harmful in themselves. They may be the first sign of a more serious disease of the nervous system.
Claw toes may cause pain and lead to calluses on the top of the toe over the first joint, but may also be painless. The condition may create problems wearing shoes.
Causes may include:
Call your health care provider if you think you may be getting claw toes.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The provider will do an exam to check for muscle, nerve, and spine problems. The physical exam will most likely include extra attention to the feet and hands.
You will be asked questions about your condition, such as: