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What Toes Does Hammertoe Affect?

Monday, 16 March 2020 00:00

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 Dr. Rouder of S.I. Podiatry. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.


Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.


  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe


If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Staten Island, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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