As the weather gets chillier and our shoes get heavier, it’s worth mentioning a common and intractable problem that we at West Hartford Podiatry Associates see all too often: hammertoes.

Hammertoes develop from a progression of symptoms and joint abnormalities affecting your toes. Specifically, the term refers to toe joint misalignment and includes mallet and claw toes.

If a hammertoe is left alone too long, you may eventually lose the ability to move the injured toe. So it’s best to stay informed, and we’ve put together a short collection of helpful information to help you do just that.

Hammertoes comes in three varieties:

  1. Flexible: The toes that are afflicted can still move at the affected joint.
  2. Semi-rigid: The hammertoe is becoming less flexible.
  3. Stiff: A rigid hammertoe that is immobile.

This problem can often be traced to more than one cause, and multiple conditions worsen it. If hammertoes get out of hand, surgery is usually required.

Improper footwear

  • Toes forced into a cramped position by shoes with a high heel or a toe box that is too small are at risk for hammertoe complications.
  • The afflicted toes can eventually lose the ability to straighten themselves, even when supported by better footwear choices or custom orthotics.


  • Hammertoes are more prevalent among individuals who have bunions. 
  • Pressure from the big tie is borne by the rest of the toes, causing them to become bent.


  • A toe that has been stubbed, jammed, or broken may be more likely to develop into a hammertoe.
  • Abnormality in the toe muscles and instability resulting from imbalance may cause the toe to curl.

Don’t let a hammertoe slow you down. At West Hartford Podiatry Associates, Dr. Marc Lederman, and Dr. Kurt Rode treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions, such as ankle sprains, fractures, running injuries, sports injuries, pediatric foot care, bunions, heel pain, and neuromas. We provide superior podiatric solutions to patients of all ages in Hartford County. Contact us at 860-236-2564 for all your foot and ankle needs. Our office is at 2531 Albany Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117.