Bunions and hammertoes are just two of the foot concerns that we handle at Desert Foot Surgeons. Our Phoenix foot doctor, Stephen Geller, DPM, can help. Both conditions can be the result of genetics as well as other possible causes.
A bunion is a bony protrusion that can occur at the base of your big toe, at the joint where it is attached to the foot. It can impede your ability to walk in a normal fashion and can cause discomfort and pain, sometimes severe. Pressure and friction from walking and from socks and shoes can lead to the formation of calluses too. In many cases, bunions develop due to too much pressure on the big toe joint because of the way you walk. Other outside causes include having flat feet, and wearing shoes that are too tight. At least partially because of the high-heeled shoes, women are more prone to bunions than men are. Treatment by our Phoenix foot doctor will often be dependent on the severity of the problem. For example, if you have a bunion that is not causing any pain or discomfort, you may need no treatment at all at that time. When treatment is necessary, it can be either lifestyle changes (such as wearing more comfortable shoes) to using bunion pads or arch supports to help redistribute the weight on your foot. In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the bunion and give you relief from the pain and difficulty.
One of the possible causes of hammertoes is having bunions, so there is a connection as sometimes happens with foot problems. Hammertoe happens when the middle joint of your toe is stuck in a bent position. This is due to an imbalance between the muscle and ligament that surrounds the middle joint. Any toe can be affected by it. People with circulation problems or diabetes can become seriously impacted by a hammertoe and therefore should take special care to seek our Phoenix foot doctor if any difficulties occur. Other common causes of hammertoe besides genetics and bunions are arthritis and toe injuries. If your toe can still move freely, more comfortable shoes may be recommended possibly accompanied by orthotics. This will work to relieve the pressure on the foot and reduce the pain involved. Stretching and strength building exercise can also be a good idea. Surgery may be a last resort if other methods prove ineffective.