Picture of Hammertoes
A hammertoe is a toe that is bent because of a weakened muscle. The weakened muscle makes the tendons (tissues that connect muscles to bone) shorter, causing the toes to curl under the feet. Hammertoes can run in families. They can also be caused by shoes that are too short. Hammertoes can cause problems with walking and can lead to other foot problems, such as blisters, calluses, and sores. Splinting and corrective footwear can help in treating hammertoes. In severe cases, surgery to straighten the toe may be necessary.
Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on October 17, 2008
Image Source: Image reprinted with permission from eMedicine.com, 2008
Text: WebMD Medical Reference in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic - Diabetes and Foot Problems