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Monday, 16 March 2020 00:00

What Toes Does Hammertoe Affect?

The medical condition that is known as hammertoe is considered to be a deformity in the middle joint of the second toe. It may gradually bend to resemble a hammer, and can overlap onto the third toe. There are a variety of reasons why this condition may occur. These can include wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, genetic factors that may involve a muscle imbalance, or from a toe injury. Common symptoms that are often associated with hammertoe can consist of redness and swelling on the affected joint, pain while wearing shoes, and it can be difficult to move the affected toe. It may be helpful to wear shoes that are a larger size, in addition using insoles which may relieve a portion of the discomfort. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer correct treatment options. 


Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.


  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes


Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe


Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

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