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Merrillville, IN
Munster, IN

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Insights Into Hammertoe

Tuesday, 20 February 2024 00:00

Hammertoe, a prevalent foot deformity, manifests as an abnormal bending of the toe joints, causing toes to resemble a hammer's shape. This condition typically affects the second, third, or fourth toe, resulting from an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that control toe movement. Common causes of hammertoe include wearing ill-fitting shoes, toe injuries, and underlying foot conditions like arthritis or bunions. Over time, hammertoes can become rigid and painful, making walking and wearing shoes uncomfortable. Recognizing the signs, such as toe stiffness, corns, or calluses, is vital for early intervention and treatment. While conservative measures like wearing roomy shoes, toe exercises, and padding can alleviate symptoms, severe cases may require surgical correction to realign the toe joints and restore functionality. With proper care and attention, individuals can manage hammertoe effectively, minimizing discomfort and maintaining optimal foot health. If you have developed hammertoe, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM of The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.


Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.


  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe


If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, and Munster, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
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