Hammertoe and mallet toe are two foot deformities that occur most often in women who wear high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box. These types of footwear may force your toes against the front of the shoe, causing an unnatural bending.
A hammertoe has an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe. Mallet toe affects the joint nearest the toenail. Hammertoe and mallet toe are most likely to occur in the toe next to your big toe.
Relieving the pain and pressure of hammertoe and mallet toe may involve changing your footwear and wearing shoe inserts. If you have a more severe case of hammertoe or mallet toe, you may need surgery to experience relief.
March 15, 2013
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Jan. 10, 2013.
- Hammer toe. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00160. Accessed Jan. 10, 2013.
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Jan. 11, 2013.
- Malloy A, et al. Mallet toe deformity. Foot and Ankle Clinics of North America. 2011;16:537.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Selecting footwear for healthier feet. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.