Garden State Foot & Ankle Center



A hammertoe is a foot deformity consisting of a contracture of the toe the joints (knuckles) in the foot. It usually resembles a hammer or may look like an upside down V from the side. People who have hammertoes typically develop corns or calluses at the top of the toe joints or at the tip of the toe. People with hammertoes may have difficulty fitting into shoe gear and oftentimes have pain associated with the deformity. Shoe modifications, padding, strapping and palliative care can be done to relief people of the immediate pain and can help slow the progression of the contracture of the toe joint.

The more common causes of the toe deformity are improper fitting shoes, arthritis, muscle imbalances, hereditary and trauma. This abnormal muscle imbalance causes increased pressure on the joints and tendons of the toe, leading to contracture. Your podiatrist can help you form a treatment plan for this painful condition. Addressing the deformity early and seeking medical treatment can help to avoid surgery. If left untreated, the deformity can progress and become rigid (have no motion) leaving you with constant pain, swelling of the toe(s) and possibly require surgery.

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