What is a Hammertoe?

September 09, 2014
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What is a Hammertoe?


A hammertoe is a contracture (bending) of a joint in one of the little toes.  This bending puts pressure on the toe when wearing shoes.  The pressure is what causes problems to develop.

Some of the symptoms of hammertoes:

-Pain or irritation when wearing shoes.

-Corns on the toe.  This is caused by the friction of the toe against the shoe.

- Calluses on the ball of the foot or bottom of the toe.

Hammertoes, corns, and calluses can all be painful and make it hard to find a comfortable shoe.

Hammertoes usually become worse over time.  In the beginning they are flexible and symptoms are easy to manage.  If the hammertoe is left untreated it can become stiff and may not respond to treatments besides surgery.  The corns don’t usually go away even with trimming and are more likely to develop as hammertoes worsen. 

You should try to see a podiatrist as soon as you notice hammertoes forming.  Trimming the corn or callus can relieve up to 30% of pressure temporarily and special creams can help as well.


If you are concerned that you may have hammertoes or notice them starting to form, Contact Us at Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic today and make an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS.  You can also go online to Request an appointment.