Hammer toe is a bony deformity where the end of the toe is bent downward. The second toe is most commonly affected but it may also affect the other toes. Over time, the toe will often stiffen and become fixed in this bent position.
Hammer toe’s are caused by a problem with the tendons inside the foot leading to a muscle imbalance but they are aggravated by wearing tight shoes or socks that cramp the toes. Hammer toe’s are most common in feet with bunions.
Podiatry treatment – A corn or callus may appear on the top of the toe or at the tip of the toe as a result of it not sitting in alignment with the other toes and it is therefore, more vulnerable to shoe pressure. Pain often is present as a result of the hard skin that forms and this can be eased with routine podiatry treatment. Protective padding over the painful areas can be provided to help reduce symptoms. A podiatrist can advise on appropriate footwear and identify whether conservative treatment is adequate or if a surgical referral is necessary.