Tuesday, 24 October 2023 00:00

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a common foot deformity that affects the alignment of toes, causing them to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward. This condition can occur in any toe but is most often observed in the second or third toe. While some individuals may have hammertoe from birth, it frequently develops over time due to factors like arthritis or wearing poorly fitting shoes, particularly those with tight, pointed toes. The most noticeable sign of hammertoe is an abnormal bending or curling of the toe. This deformity often leads to discomfort, especially when wearing shoes or walking. The persistent pressure on the bent toe can result in the formation of corns and calluses. A hammertoe may also restrict flexibility in the affected toe, which can impede normal movement. Several factors increase the likelihood of developing hammertoe. A family history of the condition can elevate your risk. The persistent use of tight or pointy-toed shoes is a common risk factor, as these footwear choices can force your toes into an abnormal position. Wearing improperly fitting shoes over an extended period can lead to hammertoe formation. For help in dealing with a hammertoe, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options.


Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Comprehensive Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors 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
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • 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 offices located in Shepherdsville and Louisville, KY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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