What is a HammerToe?

Hammertoe develops when there is an imbalance around the joint particularly ligaments and muscles of a that toe.

The middle joint bends into an undesired position and remains off balance when a hammer toe is present. The bent toe will rub on shoes and other toes and the friction can cause discomfort and redness.


Women are said to be more prone to the condition because of the shoes they wear, such as heels and pointed toe shoes. Those with poor circulation or diabetes can also be more prone to developing the condition and they can be particularly troubling. There are two forms of hammer toe:

  • Flexible- the toe or toes can move at the joint
  • Rigid- toe or toes cannot move

What Causes Hammer Toes?

When tendons are imbalanced and canโ€™t work together, a hammer toe can form. Pressure on the tendons and joints is increased and causes the deformity. The hammerhead shape is the result. The imbalance can be caused by:

  • Injury
  • Poorly fitting shoes
  • Arthritis
  • Genetics/inherited deformity

What are Hammer Toe Symptoms?

Signs usually involve:

  • joint on the toe is red or swollen
  • Ball of foot under toe is tender
  • Corns on top of joint
  • Hard to move at joint
  • Putting on shoes causes discomfort
  • Attempting to move at joint causes pain

What are the HammerToe Treatments?

Changing to properly fitting shoes can help relieve the pressure on the joints and allow the toe to go back to a normal position. However, when the hammer toe is very severe, surgery may be required. Other non surgical methods can also be tried prior.

Call us at 727-842-9504 to make an appointment. Dr. Zafar will sit down with you and discuss options to proceed with.

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