Scottsdale AZ Local Podiatrist

Bunions and hammertoes in Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ local podiatrist

Scottsdale AZ local podiatrist

Among the many vital foot concerns that we handle at Desert Foot Surgeons is the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of bunions and hammertoes. Our Scottsdale AZ local podiatrist is your specialist, and just as you would seek out one for a problem with your heart or your digestive system, so too should you look to an expert for your feet.

A bunion is a bony protrusion that forms at the base of your big joe, at the joint where it attaches to the foot. A bunion may impede your ability to walk and the pain it might cause can range from mild to severe. The pressure and friction from walking and from socks and shoes may also result in calluses when you have a bunion. Some of the root causes include flat feet, shoes that are too tight, and anything that puts too much pressure on the toe joint. Treatment from our Scottsdale AZ local podiatrist will vary, but can include bunion pads, arch supports, and simple lifestyle changes, like changing to more comfortable and supportive footwear. Surgery is typically not required, except in the most stubborn and severe cases. Hammertoes can actually be caused by bunions, or they may occur independently. When the middle joint of your foot becomes stuck in the flexed position, this is what a hammertoe is. A flexible one, in which there is some minimal movement available, can be addressed with orthotics, stretching, and strength building exercises. However, rigid hammertoes, where no movement at all is possible, will nearly always required surgery. Fortunately, our Scottsdale AZ local podiatrist is highly skilled and experienced at these procedures, so you will receive the best possible care.

Bunions and hammertoes are troublesome, but not considered dangerous. A simple phone call is all it takes to schedule an appointment and have your condition treated. You’ll soon be feeling better and able to walk without discomfort.

2222 E. Highland Ave, Suite 206
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 490-8166

Tempe Podiatrist

Bunions and hammertoes in Tempe

Tempe podiatrist

Tempe podiatrist

Two of the more common but painful complaints seen by our Tempe podiatrist at Desert Foot Surgeons are bunions and hammertoes. Bunions are bone deformities that are caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe. The enlarging toe and its protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear.

Bunions if left untreated can cause constant irritation and make walking painful and can even give rise to bursitis and arthritis. Tight shoes are the leading cause of bunions. Other contributing causes of bunions include flat feet, injuries, neuromuscular problems and pronated feet. Bunion treatment from our Tempe podiatrist has two goals; to stop the progressive growth of the enlargement and to relieve the pressure and pain caused by the irritation. One treatment option is the use of protective padding or orthotics inside the shoe to reduce the friction and irritation. Removing the corns and calluses on the foot also helps. Sufferers can also do exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness. If these more conservative treatments don’t work our practice may recommend a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy. This procedure is used to remove the bunion and realign the bone.

A hammertoe is a dislocation of the joints among any of the toes, usually in the second, third, or fourth toes. It is called a hammertoe because the toe bends like a hammer. Often corns and calluses accompany hammertoes. The dislocation starts out flexible and progresses to become quite rigid, which is when the hammertoe becomes painful and irritated in everyday shoes. Our Tempe podiatrist treats mild cases using relatively simple methods including trimming the corn or callus, using orthotics and shoe pads to relieve the pressure, or wearing special shoes. If the condition is more severe our doctor may perform a minor surgical procedure to remove a portion of bone causing the hammertoe that is done under a local anesthetic. So, if you’re encountering foot or ankle problems let our doctor assess your condition and work with you to start you walking with a smile again.

2222 E. Highland Ave, Suite 206
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 490-8166

Phoenix Foot Surgeon

Foot Surgery in Phoenix

Phoenix Foot Surgeon

Phoenix Foot Surgeon

Foot surgery is serious, as with surgery on any part of your body. But when it’s required, you can feel fully confident that at Desert Foot Surgeons, you’re in the hands of a highly skilled and qualified specialist. If you’re feeling foot pain, our Phoenix foot surgeon will examine and evaluate the situation. In some cases, the problem can be corrected with solutions such as orthotics or more comfortable and supportive footwear. Surgery is the last resort, when other methods are ineffective or insufficient to give you the relief you need. Your feet are the key to your independence, when you think about it. If walking, or even standing, is painful, it puts a stop to almost anything you want to do. Bunions and hammertoes are common reasons for needing a foot procedure done, although cosmetic surgery can also be done, for when you are self-conscious about how your feet or toes look.

Bunions are bony protrusions found at the base of your big toe, at the point where the joint attached to the rest of the foot. Some don’t cause any pain, while others can be quite severe. Arch supports, bunions pads, and a change in shoes are typically suggested in mild to moderate cases of bunions, but our Phoenix foot surgeon will recommend that when they have resulted in hindering your lifestyle, having surgery done can often be the best approach. Hammertoes occur when the middle joint of a toe gets stuck in the bent position, and may often occur in conjunction with bunions.

Our Phoenix foot surgeon also provides services to correct deformities of your ankle or heels with reconstruction rear foot surgery. And should you suffer with a fracture of your ankle or foot, it may need to be set, and that will also require a surgical option. Don’t trust the well-being of your feet to just anyone. Not when you can have the assurance that comes with being treated by a podiatrist with extensive experience. Foot pain is not something that you have to accept as a fact of life. Call us to arrange a consultation and examination. Relief starts there.

Desert Foot Surgeons
2222 E. Highland Ave, Suite 206
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Podiatry Office in Phoenix

Podiatry Procedures

Foot pain can be not only massively uncomfortable but it can have a negative impact on your entire lifestyle. Everything you do during the day seems to require the use of your feet, moving from one place to another. At Desert Foot Surgeons, we use podiatry procedures to help you regain your ability to function daily and to relieve your pain. So if you’re experiencing foot problems of any sort, just call our podiatry office in Phoenix and schedule an examination and consultation with Dr. Stephen Geller. You can be fully confident because he is double board certified in primary podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery. Let’s get started and find out what it is that will help you.

Podiatry Office in Phoenix

Podiatry Office in Phoenix

Bunions, with are bony protrusions usually found at the base of your big toe right were the joint is attached to the foot, can be removed safely and effectively. This may not be necessary in all cases, as bunions sometimes cause no pain at all. Often, lifestyle changes- such as a change in the type of shoes your wear- or the use of arch supports or bunion pads will be sufficient to address the problem. When pain is severe and interfering in your life, our podiatry office in Phoenix may recommend surgery. Bunions can also lead to hammertoes, in which the middle joint of your toe is stuck in a bent position. There are other causes of hammertoes and those who are diabetic or have circulation problems have to be especially careful. Again, surgery is a last resort, but if the pressure and pain is too extreme and/or other methods have proved ineffective, it may be a good idea. Other situations that can be addressed by podiatric surgery include correcting deformities in your ankle or heels with reconstructive rear foot surgery and setting fractures that occur in the ankle or foot.

Beyond pain, our podiatry office in Phoenix is also pleased to offer cosmetic foot surgery. If you are unhappy with or embarrassed by the look of your feet or toes, Dr. Geller can discuss the benefits of surgery to improve the situation. There is no need to simply accept having feet that make you feel self-conscious or unwilling to remove your shoes. Call us today and find out what we can do for you.

4901 N. 44th St #102
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Bunions Inherited: Don’t Blame Your Shoes, Some Can Help

I’ve said this before.  Glad to see more web information to support the position that bunions are not caused by shoes.

Check out my prior post, “Hate The Bunion, Not The Shoe”.

Here is the recent post that is also interesting.

Quick Recovery From Bunion Surgery

How are you going to take care of yourself after bunion surgery?  There are a lot of factors involved in planning for your surgery, not only by me, but more importantly by you.  If you have not already done so, download a copy of my ebook, “Top 3 Things To Know Before Surgery”.

Here are some things you need to plan for after your bunion surgery to make the recovery as easy as possible.

  1. Which foot is having surgery?  If it is your right foot, you will not be allowed to drive until the bone is healed.  This is a huge factor for everyone.  How dependent are you on your car?  Your recovery may involve physical therapy besides doctors visits, work, getting kids or grandkids to their various activities.  Plan for carpooling before your surgery to save you the headache and temptation to drive, which will slow your healing if you don’t follow instructions.  Your left foot is much easier unless you drive a standard transmission (stick shift).
  2. Weight bearing:  Bunion surgery involves creating a surgical break in your bone.  The area where your bone is broken will determine if you are allowed to walk after your surgery or if you will need a period of time without putting weight on your foot.  At Desert Foot Surgeons we discuss all of the options before your surgery and make training has been satisfactory before you have your surgery.  The various ways to stay off your foot are crutches, wheelchair, or knee walker.  A cane or walker are not adequate assistive devices for keeping weight off of your foot.
  3. The kitchen is the most dangerous room to be in after you have foot surgery!  Why such a harsh statement condemning the room everyone gathers to on a daily basis?  Cabinets!!  The area under your cabinet is just big enough to get a foot under, but when you have a surgical shoe, boot, or cast on your foot, not so much.  Appropriately named the toe kick, more often than not a patient will get their foot stuck beneath the kitchen cabinet and damage their surgery trying to get the foot out.  I find it easier just to avoid the cabinet area of your kitchen all together.  Prepare a weeks worth of meals before you have surgery.
  4. Three days of doing nothing.  If you can give me 3 days of laying in bed or on the couch with your foot above your heart, ice behind your knee, and barely take any steps; I can assure you that swelling, pain, and ultimately recovery time will all be much less.  The better behaved you are following the directions the first 3 days, the better your bunion surgery experience will be.


I want your surgical experience to go as smooth as possible.  The way to make sure this happens is to be prepared before you have surgery.

Bunion and Hammertoe Straighteners: Get Serious!!

Even though feet are like snowflakes, no two are the same; that lump or bump at the base of the your big toe and curling toes are getting painful.  Surgery does not fit into your plans with all the demands on you right now.  Maybe your busy schedule has you traveling where you pick up a magazine and notice the toe separator sock toting all the benefits of wearing this $20 sock that will straighten your hammertoes and bunion forever.  Seriously?!

I want everyone who reads this to memorize this next sentence.  I am here to make your feet better!  If a $20 sock would alleviate bunions and hammertoes, don’t you think that everyone in the world would use these?  I don’t want to take someone to surgery who can be fixed by wearing a sock to sleep.  Let’s face the facts, bunions and hammertoes are deformities.  There is an alignment problem with your bones.  Stretching the muscles will not change how your bones are lining up.

Reviewing the options for hammertoes and bunions other than surgery:

  1. changing your shoe style to avoid pressure on the painful area
  2. padding your painful bunion or hammertoe so that it doesn’t rub on your shoe
  3. anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen to relieve pain as needed

That’s all the options.  Notice that there is no splinting option because splinting doesn’t work.  I really wish it did, but it doesn’t.

If you have painful bunions and hammertoes and want to get a real opinion what can be done, come to Desert Foot Surgeons.  We fix feet!

Tune Up Your Feet for Summer and the Beach

These chilly winter mornings certainly don’t lend themselves to flip-flops and thoughts of sand between your toes. What they do mean is wearing closed-in shoes that might make you notice that lump behind your big toe or the slight bend in your toe that never bothers you in sandals. Of course when your toes are stuck in those shoes all day the pedicures seem less important so maybe you let your toes go for a while. As the polish chips and fades you notice white or yellow discoloration on the corners of your toenails even some lifting of the nail from the skin. You could cover it with polish come summer, but maybe it can be cured.

Now is the time to start getting your feet in shape for summer. We are 4 months away from schools’ summer vacation. If you are thinking about fixing your hammertoes or bunions, now is the time so that your surgery will be fully healed and ready for serious beach activities or lounging by the pool.

Bunion surgery involves fixing that lump or bump behind your big toe. Unfortunately the bump is not a growth of bone, but a bone that has shifted position. Moving the bone back into position often times requires breaking that bone in surgery. This takes time to heal ranging from 4-8 weeks depending upon the nature of the procedure performed. The work needed to straighten your big toe and remove the bump is determined by x-rays. I always examine patients seated, standing, and walking to determine the best approach for long-term correction of your deformity. Acting early will have your feet ready to show off this summer.

Hammertoe surgery is performed to straighten a bent or buckled toe. Having your toe straightened takes on average 4 weeks to heal the bone and gradually increasing your activities from that point forward. Getting back into shoes depends on swelling so the better behaved you are the first few weeks will determine how fast you can wear a shoe. The worse your toe is bent, the longer the recovery. In order to choose the appropriate surgery to straighten your toes, I need to see you walk. The cause of the toe buckling is due to the way your foot hits the ground as you walk. Cutting edge technology is available to correct your hammertoes. You do not need to have pins sticking out of your foot when you have hammertoe surgery. Now is the perfect time to fix those buckled toes for summer sandals.

If you have discoloration, thickening, or lifting of the nail from the skin this could be a fungal infection. Everyone has heard of athlete’s foot. This is a fungal infection of your skin. The same fungus can infect your toenails causing discoloration on the edges, thickening, and lifting of the nail from the skin beneath. There are many other causes of thick and discolored toenails. Testing of the nail must be done to assure that the cause is fungus before planning your treatment. If the nail problem is due to a fungal infection you should not delay treatment because nails grow slow. If you want clear toenails by summer, now is the time to act.

Those closed shoes are good at keeping your feet warm, but when you have lumps, bumps, and crooked toes they can be a constant source of aggravation. If your feet want to be free for the summer months splashing in the waves, soaking up sun at poolside, or playing in the sand now is the time to take action.

Hate The Bunion, Not The Shoe

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do?  How’d that make you feel?  Pretty lousy, huh?  Well it’s time someone said something about the horrible wives’ tale that shoes cause bunions.  I’m just going to put it out there…Shoes do not cause bunions!!!  Never have and never will.  There I’ve said it so let’s get on with it.

A bunion is a bump or knob on the side of your foot at the base of the big toe.  Look at your foot.  Find your big toenail and work your way down toward your foot.  When you get past the area where your big toe meets your foot look for a bump.  If you see is a lump on the inside of your foot then you have a bunion.  Most often your big toe is leaning toward your second toe and in extreme cases can move under or over the second toe.  The word “bunion” is derived from Italian or Scandinavian, and refers to a knob or bump.

The question remains, how did that knob get there?  The bunion is not a “growth” of bone, but rather a bone that is not in the right position.  The bone behind your big toe is your 1st metatarsal.  The bump is actually the 1st metatarsal that has moved away from the 2nd metatarsal.  Why does this happen?  Well, the true cause is still debated, but basically something has happened to your foot to cause the 1st metatarsal to move out from the line of your toe.  At a certain point the metatarsal has moved so far that you begin to see a bump and eventually your big toe moves toward the second toe.  The knob that is your first metatarsal can be painful, but most often the joint that is out of alignment is the true source of pain.

Shoes are not the cause!  Think about this…if your foot is unstable (pronated) and you wear a heel, you have just forced your foot to supinate or in other words become more stable.  If the shoe makes your foot more stable how could it cause the bunion?  Now in all honesty the narrow toe of a women’s dress shoe applies more pressure on the bunion and there is more weight on the ball of your foot when wearing heels so the bunion may become painful sooner because of the shoe.  Still it was not the shoe that caused, but rather it was the shoe that brought it to your attention.

At Desert Foot Surgeons a detailed exam of your bunion is performed to find the cause of your unstable foot.  Remember what I say, “It is easier to change your shoes than to change your foot”.  Still many times surgery is needed to correct the bunion.  Does this mean you can go back to heels with pointy toes?  The answer is maybe.  I can’t be more specific because everyone’s feet are different and your ability to heal differs from everyone else as well.  Desert Foot Surgeons has introduced “personalized foot care”, meaning we discuss your wants and desires related to what medical science says is the best treatment option and together we arrive at a plan to get you the best result possible.

Stop blaming your shoes for your bunion, it’s not their fault.  Actually the shoe has brought the problem to your attention sooner than a tennis shoe would have so you can get treatment earlier, which is always better.  See, shoes really are a girls best friend…or is that diamonds?  I’m a podiatrist, I get that mixed up sometimes.