Hammer toe is a common condition caused by an imbalance in the muscles, tendon or ligaments that surround the toe and normally keep it straight. It is called a hammer toe because the toe is abnormally bent at the middle joint to look like a hammer.
Hammer toes are most common in:
- People who wear short, narrow shoes that are too tight, which causes the toe to bend upward, and muscles and tendons in the toe tighten and become shorter.
- People with long bones in their toes.
- Children who wear shoes they have outgrown.
- People who have a bunion.
- People who have rheumatoid arthritis.