A hammertoe is a deformity of the small toes that causes them to bend up and the middle joint and resemble hammers or mallets. Wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe area forces your toes to be crammed together in an unnatural position, and is a likely cause of the problem.
Fortunately, if your toes are still flexible it can usually be treated pretty easily with stretching and orthotics. If left too long without treatment, your toe may become stiff and rigid. When this is the case it may become necessary to have surgery to fix the problem. This is usually done by way of a tendon release, which will allow your toe to lie flat again.
If your toe begins to bend in an unnatural way or point up at the middle joint, it is time to get it looked at. Just give Dr. Mitchell Wachtel a call at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment at one of our three Massachusetts office locations.