A hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toe. This condition causes a bend in the toe’s middle joint, which makes the toe resemble a hammer—hence the name.
Hammertoes can be caused by a muscle imbalance as well as wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or have a narrow toe box, such as high heels. When shoes that get narrow toward the toe are worn, it causes the toes to bend, and if a toe becomes bent and held in the same position long enough, it can cause the toe to become stuck in this position, creating a hammertoe.
Depending on the severity of the condition, a doctor may recommend one of the following nonsurgical options to treat the hammertoe:
If nonsurgical treatment options don’t work for you, surgery may be recommended to correct the hammertoe. The surgical procedure suggested will depend on the type and severity of the hammertoe.