City Footcare NYC

Podiatric Medicine & Surgery

We treat all problems of the foot and ankle.

Hammer Toes


A hammer toe is a toe that is contracted at the two joints that make up the toe. They can potentially lead to severe pressure and pain.

Ligaments and tendons that have tightened cause the toe’s joints to curl downwards.

Hammer toes may occur in any toe except the big toe.

There is often discomfort at the top part of the toe due to rubbing against the shoe. This friction causes points to form at the toe joints.

Hammer toes are classified based on the mobility of the toe joints. There are two types; flexible and rigid hammertoes.

In a flexible hammer toe, the joint has the ability to move. This type of hammer toe can be straightened manually.

A rigid hammer toe does not have that same ability to move. Movement is very limited and can be extremely painful. The toe cannot be straightened out manually.

Hammertoes often cause extra stress at the ball-of-the-foot, causing pain and the development of calluses.


Hammer toes result from a muscle imbalance which causes the ligaments and tendons to become unnaturally tight. They are usually caused by compensation due to flat feet.

This results in the joint curling downward.

Arthritis can also lead to many different forefoot deformities, including hammer toes.