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Our Approach to Treating


Podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons at NYU Langone offer expert diagnosis and care for people with hammertoe, a condition that occurs when a toe bends at the middle joint, causing the end of the toe to point downward. Hammertoe most often affects the second toe. It develops because of toe muscles that contract too tightly, pulling the bones into a bent position.

Over time, the muscles and tendons may become inflexible and prevent the toe from straightening. Many people with hammertoe develop painful blisters, corns, or calluses as a result of the bent toe rubbing against shoes. Chronic hammertoe can also cause other bones in the foot to move, which may result in an irritated or pinched nerve.

Our specialists understand that hammertoe can interfere with your ability to walk and exercise comfortably. They customize a treatment plan based on the severity of changes in the structure of the foot to help you manage pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.

Treatment for Hammertoe

If hammertoe is diagnosed when you can still straighten the toe, doctors recommend over-the-counter devices and medications to relieve pain and make walking easier. If hammertoe causes significant discomfort and you cannot extend the affected toe, our orthopedic surgeons may recommend a procedure to straighten it.

Our Research and Education in Hammertoe

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.