What Are Hammer Toes?

A Hammer Toe is a toe that’s bent or curled downward instead of pointing forward, usually due to tight tendons. The tight tendon pulls the toe downward or sideways underneath the toe next to it. Hammer Toes only occur with the four smaller toes, not the big toe.

A Hammer Toe can cause rubbing and irritation on the top of the bent toe. Women tend to have more painful Hammer Toes than men because of the shoes they wear.

Hammer Toes can be very dangerous for diabetics, as the irritation can lead to ulceration, infection, and if untreated, possible amputation.

There are two types of Hammer Toes:

  • Flexible Hammer Toes (adult curled toes): If the toe can be moved at the joint, it’s called a “flexible” hammertoe. These can be easily fixed in Dr. Sciortino’s office without hospitalization or downtime from work.
  • Rigid Hammer Toes: If the toe can’t be moved it’s called a “rigid” Hammer Toe. It usually means that surgery is needed.



Arthritis is another factor that can upset muscle balance and lead to hammer toes and so are trauma and heredity. When your shoes are too tight and your toes squeeze together, you may also end up with hammer toes.

Symptoms and Characteristics of Hammer Toes

Hammer Toe Symptoms

  • Pressure that causes sores or blisters
  • Trouble wearing certain shoes
  • Toenails that flatten or thicken
  • Pain or discomfort caused by certain activities


Simple, Painless Treatment for Flexible Hammer Toes

Dr. Sciortino can treat Flexible Hammer Toes in his office quickly with a very simple one stitch, painless procedure. There is virtually no recovery time, so no downtime from work or activity.
After the procedure is complete, Dr. Sciortino may advise the use of an arch support, a change in shoe gear, or simple cushioning to help you stay active, with pain-free feet.
The best time to see Dr. Sciortino is when you first start developing hammer toe symptoms.

Treatment for Rigid Hammer Toes

Surgery is typically the only effective treatment for a Rigid Hammer Toe. Dr. Sciortino has performed thousands of these procedures.  Each patient is different; Dr. Sciortino will discuss your options, the procedure and answer all your questions. Just call for an appointment.

Most patients can return to normal activities within 3 weeks.

Contact Us


Dr. Sciortino has successfully treated thousands of Hammer Toes. Call our office today to discuss your options.