A Deformed Toe by Any Other Name Is Still as Painful!

By Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC
June 22, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

Call it a mallet toe, a claw toe or a curled toe; refer to it as an abnormal bend or foot deformity, it still is one of the most common bone deformities in all foot problems and is known as the Hammer Toe.  


 Hammer toe is a bending of the toes (usually the second toe) into a hammer like shape at the first joint of the digit.  It is formed when the middle joint becomes dislocated and the toe moves into a claw-like position. This deformity starts out as mild but progressively gets worse over time due to arthritis and wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. In medical jargon it is referred to as the permanent flexion at the mid-phalangeal joint of one or more toes.


There are two types of hammer toes:


  1. Flexible hammer toe: occurs when the toes are flexible and can move. Several treatment options are available
  2. Rigid hammer toe: occurs when the tendons in the toes become rigid and press the joint out of alignment. This usually requires surgery 


Common Causes

  • Arthritis
  • A high foot arch
  • Ones genes – at times
  • A toe injury
  • Having calluses, bunions or corns
  • Tightened ligaments or tendons in the foot
  • Wearing ill-fitting and high heeled shoes



  • Inward bent toe
  • Corns or calluses
  • A toe joint swelling and becoming an angry red color
  • Pain on the ball of the foot under the bent toe
  • Difficulty walking
  • The inability to stretch or wiggle ones toes


Treatment for Mild to Severe Hammer Toes

  • Wearing correct footwear
  • Wearing insoles to alleviate pain due to a high arch
  • Buying non-medicated hammer toe pads
  • Gently flexing and massaging the toes
  • Ice packs to reduce painful swelling
  • Medical advice for reducing inflammation
  • Cortisone injections for acute pain on doctor’s advice
  • Splinting the toe in the early stages
  • Surgery (normally on an outpatient basis)


Tailoring treatments to the patient’s requirements is top priority at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC and we provide the best treatment options to help rid you of your pain. If your hammer toe is getting progressively worse and you realize that medical help is necessary, schedule an appointment with our team of professionals in any one of our five locations; for New Jersey residents, Fort Lee and Ringwood and our New York residents, Queens, Woodhaven, Brooklyn and Forest Hills. For more information call us at 201- 363-9844. 



185 Bridge Plaza N, Ste. #4
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
(Ph) 201-363-9844
(F) 201-363-9662

52 Skyline Drive,
Ringwood, NJ, 074563
(Ph) 973-962-7775

69-39 Yellowstone Blvd
Forest Hills, NY, 11375
(Ph) 718-575-3668
(F) 718-575-3665



Flushing, NY 11367
(Ph) 718-263-FOOT (3668)
(F) 718-263-0028


9412 Church Ave,
Brooklyn, NY, 11212
(Ph) 718-495-FOOT (3668)
(F) 718-495-3665

8811 Jamaica Ave
Woodhaven, NY 11421

(PH): 718-846-2300

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