Hammertoe is the most common deformity that affects the toes other than the big toe. It usually affects the second toe, especially if it is longer than the big toe, but can be caused by a number of reasons. Hammertoe is a condition where the toes take on a hammer-like appearance because of an imbalance in the tendons and ligaments of the foot. It is painful, develops in stages, and is able to be prevented if caught early on. Podiatrists that specialize in Hammertoe can recommend treatments depending on how severe it is. There are certain risk factors as well which can elevate your chances of developing hammertoe. Below is a short introduction to some of the most common causes of hammertoe.

Poor-fitting shoes

Shoes that are too tight are a major cause of hammertoe. It can be caused by or made worse by; one, when your toes do not have room to fully extend. Two, when the shoe is so narrow it pushes the toes unnaturally together. This is especially true for women who are more likely to wear pointy tipped and narrow shoes like high heels. The imbalance caused by the unnatural position of the toes becomes permanent so even when not in these shoes the toes stay in these positions.


Certain diseases like arthritis or other diseases affecting the bones in the feet can cause hammertoe. As we said the root cause is from tendon imbalance, and your body and feet will adjust to minor changes caused by diseases. When this happens, for example, if your foot is not arching as it should, the tendons in the toes can lock, or overcompensate.

Other foot ailments

Corns, calluses, or bunions can contribute to the cause or severity of hammertoe. When growths like these develop on the large town or top or bottom of the other toe it can contribute to hammertoe in a few ways. First, you will change your positioning when you walk, throwing off your balance. Second, your toes will be pushed or reshaped because of the other growths. Speak with your local foot specialist to diagnose hammertoe or any future growth which causes it as early as you can.



In NYC Dr. Aakruti Bhalja, DPM is the top-rated podiatrist for hammertoe surgical options. Make an appointment for a consultation to see what treatment options you have:

Downtown Podiatry Physicians 80 Maiden Ln #905D New York, NY 10038 (212) 379-6767 https://www.downtownpodiatryphysicians.com/

Downtown Podiatry Physicians