A hammer toe is a deformity of the second, third or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is abnormally curled due to a bend in the middle joint of a toe.
People with hammer toe may develop painful corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. Finding comfortable shoes may become very difficult, and walking may become painful.
Hammer toe can be inherited and present from birth, however it is commonly caused by wearing poorly fiiting shoes, including shoes that are too short or heels that are too high. Under these conditions, your toe may be forced against the front of your shoe, resulting in an unnatural bending of your toe and a hammer-like appearance.
A simple measure of relieving the pain and pressure of hammer toe is changing your footwear. However, in more severe case of hammer toe, surgery may be needed.