(HealthDay News) -- A hammer toe occurs when a toe bends over in a hammer-like or claw-like shape. Most common in the second toe, the condition can affect any toe.
A person can be born with a hammer toe, or it can develop over time, particularly from wearing shoes that are too small.
Early treatment may prevent the need for surgery. The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers this list of other potential treatment options:
- Splinting the toe, which seems to work best for mild cases or among children.
- Using foot manipulation, also an effective remedy for children.
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that don't squeeze the toes.
- Wearing a protective pad or using a corrective foot device.
- Exercising the toes. Speak to your doctor about what may work for you.
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