Beat Bunions and Hammertoes to Stay on Your Feet

Health Articles

Jan 08, 2023

Genetics, lifestyle, and shoe wear all come into play with the development of foot deformities. Hammertoes and bunions are the typical results of cramped, ill-fitting shoes worn consistently for long periods. As such, they are more common in women than men.  

Bunions are uncomfortable and painful bony protrusions extending from the big toe on the side of the foot. Pressure on the big toe joint over time changes the structure of the bones in the joint, eventually causing the protrusion.  

Bunions worsen over time, and early detection and treatment will yield the best results. To help with bunion discomfort, you can try using padding, changes in footwear, icing, and certain medications. More developed bunions may require a bunion correction surgical procedure that involves realigning the bones to restore function and reduce pain when walking. 

A hammertoe is a deformity affecting the second, third, or fourth toes, involving the middle joint of a toe in which a curve develops, creating a V or hammer shape. Hammertoes are also associated with extended use of certain footwear, especially shoes with higher heels that force the toes down into a narrow toe box. Any cause of excess pressure on the tendons and joints of the toes can result in hammertoes, including foot trauma. 

Hammertoes can often be treated with conservative measures such as medications, cortisone injections, and taping. Severe cases may require a form of hammertoe correction surgery. Hammertoe correction surgery may involve partial or complete removal of the toe joint or other means of joint repositioning to remove pressure, restore function, and reduce pain.  

If you're experiencing pain or discomfort or are worried about foot and ankle conditions, make an appointment with one of our experienced providers, like Dr. Paul Maloof, working out of Tidewater Orthopaedics' Hampton and Williamsburg offices. Click here to make your appointment, or call our office at (757) 827-2480.

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