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Hammer Toe Causes & Risks

Causes

Hammer toe may be congenital (present at birth) or develop later. It occurs when there is a dislocation of the middle joint of the toe due to:

  • Ligaments or tendons that have tightened, causing the toe's joints to curl downward
  • Pressure from an adjacent bunion
  • Wearing inappropriate footwear:
    • Shoes that don't fit properly, for either an adult or child
    • High heels
    • Narrow-toed shoes
  • Arthritis
  • The foot having a high arch
  • Injury to a toe

Occasionally, all toes may be bent; this may be due to problems with the peripheral nerves or the spinal cord.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

The following factors increase your chances of developing hammer toe. If you have any of these risk factors, tell your doctor:

  • Family history of hammer toe
  • Arthritis
  • Bunions, corns, or persistent calluses on your feet
  • Frequent use of the inappropriate footwear (listed above)

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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