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What Is a Mallet Toe Splint?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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A mallet toe is a foot problem that occurs when one of the toes becomes curled either under or over the other toes. One of the most common treatments for this malady is a mallet toe splint. This splint helps straighten the affected toe and hold it in place. These splints are usually wrapped around the afflicted toe, and they are wrapped around either normal toes or the foot. Although these splints can usually provide temporary relief for mallet toe, surgery is usually necessary to permanently correct this problem.

Mallet toes are toes that are curled into a claw, starting at the front toe joint. When the tendons in the toe become too tight, the toe will curl, and sometimes slide under or over the other toes. This condition is often caused by wearing tight shoes, and it can cause painful calluses and bunions. A mallet toe is very similar to a hammer toe, and both of these are also sometimes referred to as claw toes.

One of the most common causes of mallet toes are tight shoes. Shoes that are too tight will often squeeze and pinch the toes, causing them to curl. Women who wear high heels and shoes with pointed toes are generally more likely to suffer from mallet toes.

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A mallet toe splint is one of the first treatment options for mallet toe. This type of toe splint helps hold the toe in its proper position. The bottoms of some of these splints are often made from a soft, cushioned material. Loops of fabric are usually threaded through these pads, and the toes are put through them. This helps hold the mallet toe in its proper position.

Another type of mallet toe splint anchors one toe directly to another toe. By anchoring mallet toes to straight toes, the curled toes are forced to become straight. Some mallet toe splints also hold a toe in place by anchoring it to the foot. This type of mallet toe splint typically loops around the afflicted toe, as well as the rest of the foot and the ankle.

A mallet toe splint will usually provide temporary relief from the pain of curled toes. It is not, however, usually considered to be a long-term treatment for this condition. Surgery is generally necessary when treating this condition, especially if a person is unable to move the toe into its normal position.

To avoid fungal infections, it is important to keep a mallet toe splint very clean. When it is not being worn, a mallet toe splint should be washed with soap and very hot water. It should also be allowed to dry completely before it is worn again. Purchasing two of these splints will often allow a person to wear one splint while washing the other splint.

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