Hammertoe is a contracture— or bending—of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop.
Common symptoms of hammertoes include:
- Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.
- Corns (a buildup of skin) on the top, side, or end of the toe, or between two toes. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending upon their location.
- Calluses (another type of skin buildup) on the bottom of the toe or on the ball of the foot.
Corns and calluses can be painful and make it difficult to find a comfortable shoe. But even without corns and calluses, hammertoes can cause pain because the joint itself may become dislocated.
Hammertoes usually start out as mild deformities and get progressively worse over time.
Turf toe is pain at the joint where the big toe attaches to the rest of the foot. Turf toe can result from excessive pushing off of the big toe when you run or jump. Jamming the toe into a hard surface can also cause turf toe.
Pain where your big toe attaches to your foot, difficulty bending and straightening the toe, or swelling at the toe joint may all be signs and symptoms of turf toe.