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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066




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By Clark Podiatry Center
June 22, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: corns   calluses   Hammertoes  

Hammertoes can be a pain. Literally. Typically, the deformity affects your second toe (closest to the big toe), but can happen to your other small toes as well. A weakened toe muscle begins to put pressure on the toe’s joints and tendons, making the toe’s second toe joint stick up. It makes a tented shape with the toe. Related conditions include mallet toe and claw toe, in which the end joint or both end and middle joints are bent upward. 

When you’ve got hammertoes, it can be uncomfortable at the least. Shoes may not fit properly and you may become unhappy with the shape of your feet. Worse, hammertoes can cause you pain because the shape of the toes can cause you to have corns or calluses on the bent joint. The friction from wearing tight shoes makes it worse.

Why you get Hammertoes: Genetics plays a major part in why you may develop hammertoes. The foot type you are born with can make you prone to certain conditions like hammertoes. Shoes that do not fit well can make things worse. If they tend to make you put more pressure on the front of the foot (like with high heels), hammertoes can become aggravated. Additionally, if you’ve got an injury, arthritis, or even diabetes, you may be at higher risk of developing hammertoes. 


Prevention and Treatment:

If your family is prone to hammertoes or if you sense that your toes are starting to show signs of hammertoes, there are some steps you can take to prevent them from getting worse.

  • It’s best for you to wear comfortable and supportive shoes. Arch supports can help slow progression of hammertoes. Also, shoes that have high heels and/or a narrow toebox will cramp your toes and make it much more likely for you to develop hammertoes. 
  • Some foot exercises can help to keep up strength in your toes so that the deformity does not become worse. Exercises involving extending and curling the toes, as well as picking up small objects to move them can help strengthen toes. 


For hammertoes that have progressed, the following treatments are available:

  • If the hammertoes are still flexible, it’s possible to slow the progress of the deformity by using some strips and splints. Additionally, you can use pads to cushion the bent portion of your toes, especially if you have corns or calluses. You can also do a warm foot soak and use a pumice stone to file down corns. 
  • For severe cases where hammertoes that have become rigid and painful, surgery is probably the best option. It can be performed in an outpatient setting with a short recovery period. 

If you suspect development of hammertoes, it’s best that you come to see us sooner than later so that the problem does not get much worse. Make an appointment today at Clark Podiatry Center. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy will assess your toes to find the best treatment. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns!



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470