Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:00

How Is Hammertoe Diagnosed?

Hammertoe, a common toe deformity, occurs when there is an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments responsible for keeping the toe straight. This leads to a bending or curling of the toe, resembling a hammer. Identifying hammertoe involves a comprehensive understanding of its characteristic symptoms, which include abnormal bending at the joints, corns or calluses due to friction against footwear, and discomfort during movement. Diagnosing hammertoe typically begins with a physical examination by a podiatrist who assesses the toe's appearance and mobility. An X-ray may be employed to determine the severity and underlying causes, such as arthritis or joint inflammation. Timely recognition allows for tailored interventions, ranging from lifestyle adjustments to surgical options, ensuring effective management and relief from the challenges posed by hammertoe. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine the best course of treatment for you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Doctors of Utica. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.


Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.


  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe


If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Herkimer, and New Hartford, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe

Connect With Us

scroll to top