Tuesday, 02 May 2023 00:00

Hammertoe and Overlapping Toes

Certain foot conditions can cause the toes of the feet to essentially overlap with, or cross over, the other toes. This can be problematic for a number of reasons. Importantly, overlapping toes may decrease balance and stability. It is also generally an unsightly foot condition. If you have overlapping toes, your shoes may not fit as well, particularly in the toe area. Sometimes, the foot condition known as hammertoe may result in overlapping toes. Hammertoe develops when a particular toe juts upward at a joint and then sharply downward. Since someone living with hammertoe does not have toes that point straight forward, they become more susceptible to developing overlapping toes. If you are someone that thinks you have hammertoe or overlapping toes, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today to address any foot problems you may have.


Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Michael Schwartzman, DPM from Illinois and Indiana . Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.


  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes


Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe


Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in West Chicago, IL and Whiting, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

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