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What Are Causes of Hammertoe?

Hammertoe, a common foot deformity, can be attributed to various underlying factors, including rheumatoid arthritis, bunions, and corns. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation in the joints, can lead to the weakening of the muscles and ligaments in the toes, causing them to contract and deform over time. Similarly, bunions, bony protrusions that form at the base of the big toe, can exert pressure on adjacent toes, causing them to bend abnormally. Additionally, corns, thickened areas of skin caused by friction or pressure, can also contribute to hammertoe by forcing the toes into a bent position. Over time, these factors can result in the development of hammertoe, characterized by a permanent bend in one or more toes. Understanding the relationship between rheumatoid arthritis, bunions, corns, and hammertoe is important for implementing preventive measures and seeking appropriate treatment to alleviate symptoms and prevent further deformity. If you have developed this foot condition, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can treat hammertoe.


Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact the foot specialists from Podiatry Associates of Belleville. 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 office located in Belleville, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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