Mallet Toe

Patient Information

GP Information

Background Information

  • Hyperflexion of any lesser toe at the distal interphalangeal joint.
  • May be in isolation or in conjunction with an extended MCPJ (Claw Toe).
  • Unlike a mallet finger, a mallet toe is caused by a contracture of the FDL tendon.
  • Patients may complain of callosities on the toe, either over the joint or on the tip impeding gait.

Investigation Guidelines

  • Investigations are not required for diagnosis, management, or referral.

Management Recommendations

Conservative measures include

  • Patient education.
  • Shoe wear advice – avoid totally flat, high, or tight shoes. Trainers are appropriate.
  • Silicone / foam toe sleeve.
  • OTC orthotics if flat footed.

Referral Indications;

  • Diagnostic uncertainty.
  • Chronic pain not responding to conservative management.
  • Unable to wear normal shoes.
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