What is Hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a contracture or bending of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes.

What causes Hammertoes?

The most common cause of hammertoe is a muscle/tendon imbalance. This imbalance, which leads to a bending of the toe, result from mechanical (structural) changes in the foot that occur over time in some people. Hammertoes are often aggravated by shoes that do not fit properly. Shoes that are too small or that crowd the toe box can actually cause hammertoes in certain cases. Occasionally, hammertoe is caused by some kind of trauma, such as a previously broken toe. Hammertoes can also be inherited.


Common symptoms of hammertoes include:
  • Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.
  • Corns on the top, side, end of the toe, or between two toes. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe.
  • Calluses on the bottom of the toe or on the ball of the foot.


  • Trimming corns and calluses. Here at Instride Queen City Foot and ankle we can trim you corns and calluses and corns to bring you the greatest benefit.
  • Padding. Padding to keep the pressure off the corn or callous caused by the irritation from the hammertoe and shoes friction.
  • Change in shoe wear. Avoid shoes with pointed toes, shoes that are too short, or shoes with high heels.
  • Orthotic devices. A custom orthotic device placed in your shoe can help control the muscle/ tendon imbalance.
  • NSAIDs. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can be used to reduce inflammation. 
  • Surgery.  Once the hammertoe pain starts to interfere with daily activities we can plan to do surgery. There are a variety of surgical procedures with different lengths of recovery. We will pick the best option for you.

If you are suffering from Hammertoes, please call us at 704-504-1004 or Click Here to request an appointment.

Get in touch.

InStride - Queen City Foot and Ankle Specialists

11030 South Tryon Street
Suite 308
Charlotte, NC 28273