The symptoms of mallet toe are progressive, meaning that they get worse over time. Mallet toe causes the end joint on the toe to bend downward. At first, the joint may be moveable, but over time, the joint can become fixed or rigid.
The affected toe may be painful or irritated, especially when you wear shoes. Areas of thickened skin (corns) may develop between, on top of, or at the end of your toes. People with diabetes are especially vulnerable for developing a sore (skin ulcer) on the tip of the toe. Thickened skin (calluses) may appear on the bottom of your toe or the ball of your foot. It may be difficult to find a pair of shoes that are comfortable to wear. A mallet toe can eventually interfere with walking.
Your podiatrist can safely remove corns and calluses. You should not try to remove them at home.
You may need to use crutches or a walker for a short time following surgery. Your doctor will direct you to gradually increase the amount of weight that you put on your foot.
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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.