Hammertoe is a condition in which one or both joints in the little toes bend into claw-like positions. Oftentimes, this diagnosis accompanies a bunion diagnosis, where the big toe slants toward and under the second toe. Painful corns or calluses can develop on the top or bottom of the toe from the abnormal friction from a shoe or sock.
Hammertoes are a result of a muscle/tendon imbalance, within the foot. This imbalance is due to natural changes within the foot that gradually occur over time, and leads to the classic bent toe appearance of a hammertoe. Hammertoes are progressive – they don’t go away by themselves and usually they will get worse over time. However, not all cases are alike – some hammertoes progress more rapidly than others. Once your foot and ankle surgeon has evaluated your hammertoes, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.