What is hammer toe?
A hammer toe is a toe stuck in an abnormal bent position. Instead of lying flat, the middle of your toe sticks up.
It happens most often in the second, third, or fourth toe
Women and older people get hammer toe more often
You may feel pain when wearing certain shoes or have pain in the ball of your foot
Wide shoes and toe pads can help lessen pain
What causes hammer toe?
Unusually long toe bones
Weakness in certain muscles in the foot
Years of wearing shoes that don't fit right
What are the symptoms of hammer toe?
The toe is bent so the middle part of it is higher than normal. The higher part can rub on your shoe, causing:
Corns (hard cone-shaped bumps of skin on the top of the smaller toes, particularly over a joint)
Shoes with low and narrow toes may be painful to wear. You may also get pain in the ball of your foot.
How can doctors tell if I have hammer toe?
Doctors tell you have a hammer toe by looking at your feet.
How do doctors treat hammer toe?
To treat hammer toe, doctors will:
Have you wear comfortable, wide shoes
Have you use toe pads (shields sold in pharmacies to protect the toe from rubbing against the shoe)
Treat any skin irritation or open sores
Have you wear special devices that fit in your shoe
Do foot exercises
Do surgery if your hammer toe can’t be treated in other ways