- Flexible hammer toe—can be straightened by hand
- Rigid hammer toe—cannot be pulled straight and can be extremely painful. The position of the toe can also lead to corns or calluses. These may also be painful.
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- Tendons that have tightened, causing the toe's joints to curl downward
- Family history of hammer toe
- Foot and ankle abnormalities
- Frequent use of the inappropriate footwear:
- Shoes that don't fit properly, for either an adult or child
- High heels
- Narrow-toed shoes
- The foot having a high arch
- Muscle weakness in the foot
- Nerve damage in the foot
- Injury to a toe
- A toe that curls down
- Corns on the top of a toe
- Calluses on the sole of the foot or bottom of the toe
- Pain in the middle joint of a toe
- Discomfort on the top of a toe
- Difficulty finding any shoes that fit comfortably
- Cramping in a toe, and sometimes also the foot and leg
- Difficult or painful motion of a toe joint
- Pain in the ball of the foot or at the base of a toe
- Splinting the affected toe
- Switching to properly sized footwear with roomy toe boxes
- Splints, straps, cushions, or corn pads to relieve symptoms
- Tendons may be cut or transferred.
- The middle joint of the toe may be fused together.
- Removal of part of the toe or joint
- Avoid wearing poorly fitting or narrow-toed shoes.
- Avoid heels higher than two inches.
- Check your child’s shoe size often.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
American Podiatric Medical Association http://www.apma.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Nurses Entrepreneurial Foot Care Association of Canada http://www.nefca.ca
Hammer toe. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00160. Updated September 2012. Accessed March 25, 2013.
Hammertoes. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/hammertoes.htm. Updated December 18, 2009. Accessed March 25, 2013.
Hammer toe. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated May 25, 2010. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/17/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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