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What are Hammertoes?

Image of Hammertoe
Image source: Mayo Clinic

Hammertoe is a contracture (bending) deformity of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth (little) toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop.


Hammertoes usually start out as mild deformities and get progressively worse over time. In the earlier stages, hammertoes are flexible and the symptoms can often be managed with noninvasive measures. But if left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid and will not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Because of the progressive nature of hammertoes, they should receive early attention. Hammertoes never get better without some kind of intervention.


Symptoms of Hammertoe:

Hammertoe has an unusual bend in the joints of one or more of the toes. Other symptoms may include:

  • Pain from wearing shoes

  • Difficulty moving the affected toe

  • Toe stiffness

  • Redness and swelling

  • Growth of corns and calluses from rubbing against shoes or against the ground


Would you like to be seen by a North Shore Podiatry physician?

Make an appointment at one of our locations today!


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