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Affecting any but the big toe, hammertoe is characterized by a bending of one or both toe joints. The deformity generally worsens over time, and patients may develop corns or calluses as a result of bent toes rubbing against shoes. Untreated hammertoes become rigid, leading to sores, infection and pain.
Noninvasive measures can be taken to alleviate symptoms in the beginning stages of the condition and may prevent hammertoe from advancing if caught early. However, if the condition continues to progress, or is left unacknowledged or untreated for an extended period of time, toes will develop sores, infections, and the intensity of the pain will increase drastically.