The hammertoe is a deformity characterized by the contraction (flexion) of the toe’s articulations. This deformity is the result of a muscular imbalance of the foot.
While this issue is sometimes hereditary, it’s generally due to shoes that are maladapted to the foot and force the smaller toes to bend. The articulations might then become permanently contracted. The hammertoe might become painful if corn or some irritation develops.