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Merrillville, IN
Munster, IN

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Causes and Treatment of Hammertoe

Tuesday, 09 July 2024 00:00

Hammertoe occurs when the muscles around the toe joints contract, causing the toe to bend downward at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. This can lead to significant discomfort and the formation of calluses and corns due to friction. Often, it affects the second toe, especially in cases where it is longer than the big toe, leading to pressure and trauma within tight or ill-fitting shoes. High heels and shoes with a narrow toe box can worsen the condition by exerting extra pressure on the toes. Genetic predisposition, bunions, and physical injuries, such as stubbing or nerve damage, can also contribute to the development of hammertoe. Treatment options vary depending on the severity and flexibility of the toe. For mild cases, a podiatrist might suggest wearing shoes with a wider toe box, using adhesive gel pads, or inserting orthotic devices to alleviate pressure. In more severe cases where the toe becomes rigid and painful, surgical intervention may be necessary to restore normal alignment. If you are experiencing pain from a hammertoe, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment.


Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from 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 affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.


  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes


Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe


Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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

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