According to Dr Marc Blatstein, hammertoes appear with the toes bent in a clawing fashion. Hammertoes, they may be flexible or ridged, flexible infers that you can manually straighten the toes, while it is not possible to straighten a rigid toe. Because most of us wear enclosed shoe gear, the pressure caused by the shoes gear we wear causes the toes to become painful. On top this pressure forms a hard corn, while on the bottom of the foot the toe actually pushes the metatarsal bone down forming a callus. Treatment of hammertoes can be approached many ways. Dr Marc Blatstein starts by recommending a combination of: a functional orthotic prescribed as a shoe insert to help the hammertoes from progressing or getting worse. In the very initial stages while the toe is still flexible, they can be tapped into their corrected position, also utilizing a functional orthotic. This conservative treatment also consists of hammertoe and buttress pads all available over the counter, in addition to open toe shoe gear. With continued pain correction of the deformity while successful, depends on whether they are rigid or flexible. While the hammertoe is still flexible, a simple tendon release following with taping it in the corrected position is usually effective. Then a functional orthotic may be prescribed to help maintain this correction. With a rigid hammertoe, the surgical procedure consists of removing some skin along with a small section of bone. Dr Marc Blatstein told us that in cases of a severe hammertoe deformity a pin may be used to hold the toe in its corrected position for several weeks & then it is removed. In all cases it is very important to follow your surgeons after surgery instructions in order to get best result.