Podiatry Foundation of Pittsburgh
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Podiatry Foundation of Pittsburgh
c/o Nigro Ankle and Foot Care
1601 Union Ave. Suite B
Natrona Heights PA 15065


What is a Hammertoe

A hammertoe occurs when a toe is bent upward. Initially, the toe may be flexible. When the hammertoe remains flexible, it can straighten when pressure is applied to the area. But in the later stages of the condition, the hammertoe can become rigid and require surgery.

An abnormal balance of muscles in the toes can cause hammertoes. For example, when ligaments and tendons tighten, the toe's joints buckle, causing the toe to point upward. When the toe is upward, shoes can rub the toe, which leads to bursitis (an inflammation). Painful corns and calluses, which are a buildup of skin on the joint, may follow because of pressure on the joint. Heredity, injuries and arthritis contribute to hammertoes.

Those with hammertoes may experience pain or be pain-free.

Treatment for Hammertoe

Hammertoe treatment includes:

  • Padding
  • Medications
  • Injections
  • Shoe inserts
  • Surgery (for more advanced cases)

If hammertoes are left untreated, the toe's mobility may be limited and more serious problems could result.