Hammertoe is a common foot deformity in which the toes bend downward at the middle joint, creating a hammer-like shape. This deformity typically affects the second, third, or fourth toes and causes pain, discomfort, and joint stiffness. There are many reasons why a hammertoe may develop. Chronically wearing ill-fitting shoes which are too tight, narrow, have excessively high heels, or squeeze your toes together, can contribute to the formation of hammertoes. Hereditary foot differences, having unusually long toe bones, weakness in the muscles of the feet, or injuries can also make hammertoes more likely. Other foot conditions, including bunions and rheumatoid arthritis, may increase your risk of hammertoes. If you notice that your toes are changing in appearance, or if you are experiencing any foot pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist. Treating hammertoes early can help stop or slow their progression.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Kenneth J. D'Ortone, DPM from Center for Foot and Ankle Excellence. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.
- Pain in the affected toes
- Development of corns or calluses due to friction
- Contracture of the toes
Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe
Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option
If you have any questions please contact our office located in Philadelphia, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What Are Hammertoes?