A hammer toe is a toe that bends up at the middle joint, while the end of the toe points down. The problem usually happens to the second toe.
A hammer toe can hurt a lot, especially as the toe rubs against your shoe when you walk. Shoes that are too tight can cause hammer toes. If a shoe forces a toe to stay bent for a long time, the muscles in your toe get tight and the tendons that connect the muscles to the bone get shorter. Over time, the muscles cannot straighten your toe. Sometimes, diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis also can cause hammer toes.
Early treatment can help your toe straighten before it gets badly bent. You can wear roomy shoes and use pads to keep the toe from rubbing against your shoes. If your toe is badly bent, you may need surgery to straighten it.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter E607 in the search box to learn more about "Hammer Toe: Care Instructions".
Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Gavin W.G. Chalmers, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.