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Signs of a hammertoe, and when to get care

Signs that indicate hammertoe include:

  • Toe joints that are difficult to move
  • Corns present on the top of the toe joints
  • Swollen and red toe joints
  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • Pain when moving toe joints
  • Pain where the ball of the foot and toes meet

Risks factors for developing hammertoe

There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing hammertoe. The condition is more prevalent in older individuals and women, and can develop if the second toe is longer than the big toe. Diseases such as diabetes and arthritis can also increase the risk of developing hammertoe.


Though genetics and lifestyle play roles in the development of hammertoes, there are certain healthy lifestyle changes you can make to mitigate the problem. For example, wearing shoes that fit properly is crucial for those with a high risk for hammertoe. This means wearing shoes that have a low heel and plenty of toe room. Find shoes that can be adjusted so you can customize them better for a proper fit. Consult with a podiatrist if you have chronic foot pain, since hammertoes may require medical attention or surgery.


After diagnosing a hammertoe, your podiatrist may recommend that you wear custom shoe inserts (orthotics) or padding to relieve joint pain and encourage toe movement. Toe exercises and stretches are other effective treatments that can help the toe straighten out. However, if these treatment options don’t work, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to correct the condition.

If you’re suffering from a hammertoe and have tried treating it on your own with little or no success, contact a podiatrist today to schedule an appointment. Foot health is important, and you shouldn’t ignore a hammertoe that doesn’t respond to treatment.

Are you experiencing foot pain, or have you developed a hammertoe? Call Kansas City Foot Specialists today at (913) 338-4440 to schedule an evaluation, or request a consultation online so we can work with you to keep your feet healthy!