The most common cause of hammertoe is ill-fitting shoes that deform the structure of the toe. Certain diseases and conditions that cause nerve, joint, or muscle damage can cause hammertoes such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, strokes, and diabetes. When bent for long periods of time the muscles inside the toe can shorten.
Factors that can increase your risk of developing a hammertoe:
- Some people can be structurally prone to the development of hammertoes
- Tight-fitting footwear
- Smaller and weaker muscles within the foot may also contribute
- Some structural deformity can actually be due to genetic predisposition
- Some type of previous trauma like a broken or severely stubbed toe