What is a hammer toe?
A hammer toe is a deformity which causes your toe to bend or curl downward instead of straight forward. This deformity can affect any toe on your foot but in most cases it affects the second or third toe.
Common Causes and Symptoms
- A traumatic injury.
- An unusually high arch.
- Wearing shoes that don't properly fit.
- Tightened ligaments or tendons in the foot.
- Corns or calluses.
- Difficulty walking.
- Inability to flex your toes.
- Claw like toes.
- Spinal cord or peripheral nerve damage may cause your toes to curl downward.
- Having calluses, corns or bunions which are thickened layers of skin caused by prolonged or repeated friction.
- Wear proper fitting shoes.
- Do foot exercises and stretches.
- Custom orthotics.
- Using a metatarsal pad or foot splint
- In some cases surgery may be needed or required.
- Some minor to major hammertoe deformities can make you a candidate for an in office surgical procedure, where a needle is used as a cutting instrument to correct the deformity and no stitches are required. This procedure is known as a tenotomy.