A hammer toe is the abnormal contraction of the toe which happens when one of the joints that forms the toe has a partial or complete dislocation. Whilst the toe continues to be deformed, there is a possibility of corns forming due to it pressing up against the shoe.
There a number of causes of hammer toe including ill-fitting and inappropriate shoes. If you are wearing shoes that are too tight at the front, the joints may be pushed inwards over time which can cause dislocation.
It’s important to get a hammer toe treated as eventually the toe muscles will be unable to straighten. If left untreated, you may find that corns and callus can appear on the tips of the toes or on the top of the toe’s middle joint. You may also develop pain in other toes or the foot as a whole.
Exercises may be recommended to stretch and strengthen the toes. Shoes with deep toe boxes are recommended as they do not place pressure on the toes. Another treatment option is being prescribed custom-made orthotics to help improve foot function.
Seeking early treatment can prevent the requirement of needing surgery in the future in many cases. Surgery is only considered if all other treatments have not worked effectively and relieved symptoms.