Park 56 Podiatry
120 E 56th St, Suite 940
New York, NY 10022

(212) 980-6487

Causes of Hammertoe

Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00

If your second toe is bent to resemble the shape of a hammer, you may have a condition referred to as hammertoe. It is typically an uncomfortable and painful deformity of the toes and may often require surgery to have them permanently straightened. Some of the reasons this ailment can develop may include wearing poorly fitting shoes, possibly causing the muscles and tendons in the toe to lose strength and weaken. Genetics may play a role in the development of hammertoes, in addition to any injuries the toe may have endured. Patients often see calluses and corns on top of the foot as a result of the shoe rubbing against the deformed toe. This is generally a condition that progresses and worsens over time, and temporary relief may be found with performing gentle stretches to strengthen the toe. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with hammertoe for proper treatment options.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Park 56 Podiatry. Our doctors 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 office located in Midtown, Manhattan. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
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