Differences Between Hammertoe and Claw Toe

Hammertoe is a particular kind of affliction of the feet which primarily impacts the joints of the toes. An individual living with hammertoe will notice that the joint of their toe sticks up while the rest of the toe points downward. Many patients often confuse this condition with another known as claw toe. Claw toe is different and distinct from hammertoe in that patients with claw toe have unnatural bends in the last two joints of the toe. As a result, the entire toe curls downward. Therefore, hammertoe and claw toe create different shapes in the toes. If you are interested in preventing the onset of these different foot conditions, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist immediately for any possible advice or treatment.


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

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.


  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes


Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe


Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Elmhurst Jackson Heights, and Astoria, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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