Hammer toe is the buckling and curling of the toe joints so that they resemble a hammer. This condition is caused by a muscle imbalance or tight tendons.
Symptoms: Hammer toe can vary in its severity. Your toes may be rigid or still flexible. In addition to the curling of toes, other symptoms can include pain, discomfort, and thickened skin above or below the affected toes.
Non-Surgical Treatments: If your condition is mild, you might be able to see relief just from changing to better fitting shoes. A splint or pad can be used to hold your toes in the correct position. You can also cushion corns or calluses using felt padding in your shoes.
Surgery: If your symptoms are severe, surgery may be necessary. For joints that are still flexible, the tendon can be cut and repositioned in order to release a buckled joint. For rigid joints, a piece of bone might need to be removed in order to straighten out the toes.