Tuesday, 28 May 2024 00:00

Why Some People Get Hammertoes

Hammertoes are a deformity where the toe bends at the middle joint, causing the tip to curl downward, resembling a hammer. This condition can affect any of the smaller toes and is categorized into flexible hammertoes, which are still movable at the joint. Rigid hammertoes are defined as tight tendons causing the joint to become misaligned and immobile. Hammertoes develop over time, often due to wearing ill-fitting shoes that squeeze the toes or cause them to bend. High heels or narrow shoes are common culprits. Genetics, certain diseases like arthritis, and trauma can also contribute to their formation. People with unusually long toes, flat feet, or high arches are more susceptible. Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, and in some cases, X-rays to assess the extent of the deformity. Treatment options range from changes in footwear and custom orthotic devices to surgery in severe cases. If you have a hammertoe that is causing you discomfort, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Joshua David Scoll of Pennsylvania. 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 one of our offices located in Philadelphia, Bensalem, and Fairless Hills, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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