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Hammer Toes

What Are Hammer Toes?

When the middle joint of your toe becomes flexed or bent downward, you may not be able to straighten your toe. This deformity, called hammer toe, can affect any toe but most often impacts the second or third toe.

Hammer toes can be caused by:

  • Arthritis

  • Wearing shoes that don’t fit

  • Traumatic toe injury

  • A high foot arch

  • Bunions


The most noticeable symptom of a hammer toe is a toe that is bent or pointed downward. Other symptoms may include:

  • Corns or calluses

  • Difficulty walking

  • Inability to wiggle your toes

  • Claw-like toes

Treatment Options

There are many effective treatments for hammer toe. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment may include:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes

  • Wearing toe pads or insoles to support and straighten feet and toes

  • Using cushions, pads or medication that treat bunions and corns

  • Gently stretching toes

  • Outpatient surgery to straighten the toe

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of hammer toes, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat hammer toes.