Hammer Toes

Definition

A hammer toe is a bending of either one or both joints of the lesser toes. This bending puts excessive pressure on the top of the toe causing problems.

Causes

  • Mechanical- A muscle/tendon imbalance can cause the toe to bend
  • Neurological causes- for example stroke or neuropathy
  • Poor fitting Footwear
  • Trauma
  • Genetic
  • Other deformities for example bunions can cause hammer toes

Symptoms

  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • Corns/callus may develop on the top of the toe, or the end of the toe due to pressure
  • Inflammation and/or redness of the toe
  • Fixed bending of the toe

Treatment

  • Removal of corns or callus
  • Footwear advice
  • Orthotic intervention for muscle imbalance
  • Surgery maybe indicated if symptoms persist and the toe becomes increasingly painful