A member asked:

What is a hammer toe and how you end up with one?

11 doctors weighed in across 4 answers
Dr. Todd Schafer answered

Specializes in Podiatry

Curved or Crooked : Hammertoes are when your lesser digits (mainly) become either clawed or hammered. Depending on the level of the joint involvement, you can have the distal end of the toe curve downward, or have the bend from the middle of the toe. The condition is caused mainly by muscle imbalance, where one muscle group gains a mechanical advantage over the other one.

Answered 6/1/2015

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Dr. Ali Sadrieh answered

Specializes in

Contracture: A hammertoe is a contracted toe that causes calluses and rubbing in shoes. They can result in arthritis of the joint as well as chronic pain. Most hammertoes are caused by genetics however they can be caused by poor fitting shoes as well.

Answered 6/1/2015

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Dr. Payam Rafat answered

Specializes in Podiatry

Contracted toe: A hammertoe is an abnormal contracture or a bending of the toe joint which results from a muscle or tendon imbalance due to the mechanical and structural changes in the foot that may occur over time. This can be hereditary or due to environmental factors such as tight shoes. This abnormal bending can lead to abnormal pressure distribution resulting in pain, swelling, blistering, and corns.

Answered 6/1/2015

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Dr. Libby Putnam answered

Specializes in Podiatry

Bent toe.: People can get hammertoes several different ways, including just an unlucky roll of the genetic dice, but the fundamental result is usually the same: a toe that has drawn back and no longer sits straight or "flat". Sometimes it's only a tendon that holds the toe in that position, other times there's arthritis involved: these tend to be more rigid, and require surgery if you want them corrected.

Answered 6/1/2015

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