This condition’s name perfectly describes its appearance. A toe – either the second, third or fourth one – will bend at the middle joint so that it looks like a hammer. This comes from two causes: ill-fitting shoes or a muscle imbalance. If caught early, the situation often can be solved with new, roomier shoes. Exercise also can help. For more advanced situations, your physician may recommend surgery. Specific procedures will depend on the nature of and severity of the condition. However, operations often are done on an outpatient basis. Recovery times typically are short.