Claw Toe Workup

Updated: Feb 07, 2023
  • Author: James K DeOrio, MD; Chief Editor: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS, FAOA, FABOS, FAAOS  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Depending on the clinician's diagnostic considerations, the following laboratory tests may be appropriate:

  • Fasting glucose to rule out diabetes
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) to determine the possibility of an underlying infection
  • Rheumatoid factor (RF)

Imaging Studies

Radiographs are obtained to determine or exclude the following:

  • Arthritic changes from old fractures or inflammatory arthropathies
  • Increased metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint space from synovitis
  • Osteomyelitis at the tip of the toe from an abscess with a callus
  • Position of the toes

Other Tests

Vascular pressure measurements, including ankle-brachial index (ABI) and absolute toe pressure, are helpful for the following purposes:

  • To assess toe viability
  • To determine whether the toe might reasonably be expected to heal following surgery

Findings from electromyography (EMG) provide information regarding the origin of the claw toe deformity and whether the patient has a neuropathy.