These foot deformities are more common than you might think.
If you value the health of your feet then you might want to think twice about slipping them into those high heels or those tennis shoes that bunch up your toes. From genetics to poor footwear to flat feet, there are many reasons why you might find yourself dealing with a bunion or hammertoe. If you aren’t sure whether you are dealing with these issues then our Montvale and Hackensack, NJ, podiatrists are here to shed some light on these common issues.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a condition that affects the joint of a toe, most commonly the joint at the base of the big toe. A bunion will cause the joint to stick out or appear swollen. Over time, if the bunion isn’t properly managed it can cause the big toe to lean in towards the other toes. Bunions can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness at the joint, and it can make it painful to walk in shoes. High heels or poorly fitted shoes can exacerbate this problem and make the bunion worse.
What is a hammertoe?
A hammertoe is a condition that affects the middle joint of one or more toes (often the smaller toes). As a result, the affected joint causes the toe to bend downward like a claw. In most cases, you can straighten the toe out on your own; however, if you are unable to straighten the toe at all then you have what’s called a rigid hammertoe. Because of their bent nature, it’s also common for these toes to develop a callus from rubbing against shoes.
How do you treat these foot deformities?
The treatments you receive from our Montvale and Hackensack foot doctors will really depend on the severity and progress of your bunion and/or hammertoe. As you may have figured out, both of these deformities are progressive, which means that how you care for your feet can either make the deformity worse or prevent it from getting worse.
First and foremost, the most important thing is that you wear shoes that protect and support your feet and don’t put pressure on these susceptible areas. Avoid shoes that have heels that are over 2 inches tall. Only look for shoes that provide ample support and cushioning and give your toes room to wiggle and move freely. Shoes that put pressure on the bunion or hammertoe should be avoided.
Other conservative treatment options include:
- Splinting or bracing
- Custom orthotics
- Bunion or callus pads
Only in severe cases is surgery recommended to repair either the bunion or hammertoe.
Don’t let bunion or hammertoe pain get the better of you. If you are dealing with these issues, or if you want to find out ways to prevent these problems from happening then it’s time to turn to the experts at Podiatry Foot & Ankle Institute in Montvale and Hackensack, NJ.