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hammertoeHammertoes form when a foot muscle gets weak. The weakness may be from diabetic nerve damage. The weakened muscle makes the tendons in the foot shorter and makes the toes curl under the feet. You may get sores on the bottoms of your feet and on the tops of your toes. The feet can change their shape. Hammertoes can cause problems with walking and finding shoes that fit well. Hammertoes can run in the family. Wearing shoes that are too short can also cause hammertoes.

Hammertoes are a form of toe deformity. The toes bend sideways in the middle joint. As in most of the foot problems we have discussed, tight or ill-fitting shoes can aggravate the deformity. Conservative treatment is changing the type of shoe worn. Some will respond well to serial casting of the toes with silicon splints. In chronic or serious cases, surgery may be the best treatment.

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