What Causes A Hammertoe?

What Causes A Hammertoe?

The foot is a complex network of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, all working together to help support your body weight and make walking possible. An issue with one part of the foot, such as a hammertoe, can cause mass amounts of pain or discomfort throughout. At Cherrywood Foot Care, a podiatrist in Massapequa, we are familiar with this problem and are prepared to offer assistance.  

What Is A Hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a deformity that can take place in any of the toes in your feet. However, it most commonly occurs in the second or third toe. With a hammertoe, the toe is bent or curled downward, as opposed to pointing straight out. This bending can put pressure on your toes when you wear shoes and try to walk, which can lead to an array of issues. Other symptoms that are common with hammertoes include:

  • Claw-like toes.
  • Toes cannot be wiggled or flexed.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Formation of corns and calluses.

Causes And Risk Factors

Each toe is comprised of two joints that allow for bending. When one of these joints becomes damaged or flexed, it will likely result in a hammertoe. According to our podiatrist in Massapequa, this joint issue can be the result of various causes. Arthritis, traumatic toe injuries, and having bunions are all potential causes of hammertoes. Several risk factors play a role in the development of this condition, including:

  • A family history of developing hammertoes.
  • Exposing your toe to prolonged and repeated friction.
  • Wearing tight or pointy-toed shoes too often.


While hammertoes are not life-threatening, they can harm your quality of life. They can be aesthetically unpleasant and make walking a painful task. Fortunately, our podiatrist in Massapequa has a wealth of experience in treating this condition. Below are a few examples of how we can correct your hammertoe and get your feet back to normal:

  • When hammertoes are caused by footwear problems, we will likely recommend you buy new shoes or create a custom insole that offers your foot the support needed to correct the issue.
  • Commercially available straps, cushions, or pads can also be effective in re-aligning the affected toe.
  • For severe cases of hammertoe, surgery may be required. By operating on the deformed toe, we can place it in the correct position and repair the damaged joint.

Contact Our Podiatrist In Massapequa  

The team at Cherrywood Foot Care wants to help keep your feet healthy. While hammertoes may not seem like a pressing issue at the time of their development, failure to treat them can have devastating effects. If left unchecked for too long, hammertoes can cause permanent joint damage. To prevent this from happening, be sure to contact our podiatrist in Massapequa as soon as you begin to notice one developing. We will work tirelessly to get your feet back on track as soon as possible!