Hammertoes are a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toes. Hammertoes are bent at the middle joint and can become rigid and need surgery. They are caused by shoes that don't fit properly, or muscle imbalance. If you have hammertoes, you might also have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint  or on the tip of your toe. You may also feel pain in your toes and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes.

Wearing shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and toe exercises help to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the toe so they stay flexible. You can also ask your podiatrist about straps, cushions, or nonmedicated corn pads to relieve your symptoms.