A bunion is a dislocation of the joint in the big toe. These conditions are often caused by a hereditary, faulty structure of the foot as well as the rubbing of the toes against tapered shoes.
Bunions develop slowly over time. Tight shoes squeeze the toes together and increase the likelihood of developing bunions or worsen the symptoms if a bunion already exists. Wearing wider shoes with more toes space is the best immediate way to relieve bunion pain. For more extreme cases, surgery may be required.
A person can become eligible for bunion surgery if they experience significant foot pain after nonsurgical treatment, chronic big toe inflammation, toes stiffness and deformity. Bunions vary from person to person, so multiple surgical procedures are available. Osteotomy, arthrodesis, exostectomy, and resection arthroplasty all aim to realign the bunion. The surgery is outpatient and only uses a local anesthetic.
Hammertoes occur when a toe or toes curl upward. They are mostly caused by wearing shoes with restrictive toe space, which means it’s not uncommon for patients to experience multiple hammertoes at once. Wearing more spacious shoes, toe splints, and strapping techniques are used to alleviate hammer toe.
Hammertoe surgery is based on a patient’s specific problem. Tendon transfers are often used for flexible hammertoes. For fixed hammertoes, patients will undergo joint resection or fusion to alleviate the pain caused by a hammertoe. The surgery is outpatient and only uses a local anesthetic.
The best way to prevent hammertoes and bunions is to wear wide, properly fitted shoes.