Mallet Toe Deformity

Abstract

Mallet toe is a flexion deformity of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint of a lesser toe. It may be deviated as well, either medially or laterally, with respect to the middle phalanx. Pain typically occurs as the tip of the toe repetitively strikes the ground, and a callus often develops at the tip of the toe or over the dorsal aspect of the DIP joint. Nonsurgical treatment includes pads and toe caps to protect the calluses on the toes and shoes with a roomy toe box and low heels. For flexible mallet toe deformities, percutaneous tenotomy of the flexor digitorum longus tendon may alleviate symptoms. For fixed deformities, osseous decompression of the DIP joint is necessary.

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