Hammer Toe

Hammer Toe services offered in Las Cruces, NM

Hammer Toe

If one of your toes bends at the middle joint and hangs like a hook, you may have a hammer toe. Experienced podiatrists Rolando Cadena, DPM, and Clair Cadena Miranda, DPM, provide prompt, effective care for hammer toes at Mesilla Valley Footcare in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Without treatment, hammer toes can cause chronic pain, corns, calluses, and many other uncomfortable symptoms. Call today or use the online booking tool to schedule a hammer toe consultation. 

What is a hammer toe?

A hammer toe causes the end of your toe to bend downward and hang. It usually develops in your second, third, or fourth toes, affecting the middle joint. Hammer toes are most often the result of an imbalance among the muscles, tendons, and ligaments supporting your toe joints. 

They usually start out flexible but become more rigid over time. Without treatment, they can become painful, especially when you wear shoes.

What does a hammer toe look like?

A hammer toe is typically visibly bent at the middle joint, almost like a hammer. Other telltale signs of a hammer toe include:

  • Joint appears raised
  • Corns or calluses on the skin
  • Overlapping with adjacent toes 
  • Discomfort and pain when walking
  • Difficulty finding comfortable footwear
  • Limited range of motion in the affected toe

The sooner you seek treatment for a hammer toe, the more likely you are to find relief from discomfort.

Is a hammer toe dangerous?

Hammer toes typically aren’t dangerous, but they can be for certain people. If you have diabetes, having a hammer toe increases your risk of infections and foot ulcers. A severely rigid hammer toe that’s lost all flexibility can also change your gait (walking pattern) and balance. 

Why does a hammer toe happen?

Many factors can increase your risk of having hammer toes, including:

  • High arches or flat feet
  • Shoes that are tight, narrow, or heeled
  • One toe that’s longer than the others
  • Genetics
  • Injuries or trauma, including stubbing your toe
  • Arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis

You can develop a hammer toe at any age, but older adults are at an increased risk, as muscles, ligaments, and muscles lose elasticity.

What can I do about a hammer toe?

Mesilla Valley Footcare has many effective options for treating hammer toes, including:

Footwear changes

Choose shoes with a wide toe box and low heel to reduce pressure on your toes. Avoid tight or narrow shoes that can contribute to worsening hammer toes.

Orthotic inserts

Custom orthotics can provide support and help distribute pressure more evenly across your feet, relieving symptoms.

Toe splints 

These devices can help straighten your toe and relieve pressure on the affected area.


In more severe cases, surgery can help correct the deformity and restore normal toe alignment.

Call Mesilla Valley Footcare today or use the online booking tool to schedule a hammer toe consultation.