Treatment Options for Hammertoe

When the joints of the toes begin to bend severely, often resembling a “hammer,” this condition is referred to as hammertoe. It is typically a deformity of the toes, generally caused by imbalances in the tendons, and this may change the structure of the toe. Pain and discomfort are associated with hammertoes, and calluses and corns often form on the bottom of the foot. This condition will worsen over time, and treatment options should be considered. It’s important to trim any calluses that may be present, and this is typically performed by a podiatrist. Splints may be attached to the foot to realign the toes, and orthotics may be recommended to help the foot feel more comfortable. If you have a severe case of hammertoe, surgery may be required to permanently repair the toe.


Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.


Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.


  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes


Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe


Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?