Hammer toe occurs when a toe joint becomes deformed or bent over the years. Any toe other than the big toe can develop this abnormal bend in the middle joint. Rubbing up against the neighboring toes can cause painful corns or calluses on the affected toe, which can become difficult to flex and straighten out over time.
Diagnosis of a hammer toe is usually possible by simple observation. When looking at the toes, if one curls downward at the middle joint, it is most likely a case of hammer toe. The condition develops when the muscles, tissues, and ligaments that keep the toe straight weaken and become unstable.
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