A hammertoe is a dislocation of the joint of any one of the toes. It is described as a hammertoe because it bends under like a claw, or like the hammer in a piano. A corn or a callus usually will form either on the end of the toe or from shoe pressure on the prominent portion of the toe. Hammertoes are foot type related and often hereditary. They progress from flexible to rigid deformities and that is when they become painful as everyday shoes begin to cause inflammation and irritation. Home care includes trimming the corn or callus, the application of pads to relieve pressure and wearing shoes with a higher and wider toe box and padding to reduce shoe pressure. A podiatry consultation will determine the severity of your problem and treatment may include orthotics to compensate for the underlying biomechanical pathology, the use of special shoes and most commonly, a minor surgical procedure, performed under local anesthesia to remove the portion of bone causing the hammering.