Bunions and hammer toes are foot deformities generally caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes. These conditions sometimes run in families whose feet are more susceptible to these kinds of injuries and are much more common in women.
If you have bunions or hammer toes, experts in the Sutter Health network can help you cope with these sometimes painful conditions.
Bunions are an enlargement of the bone or tissue at the base of your big toe. Bunions can be caused by flat feet, the way you walk, tight shoes or simply your inherited foot type. People with bunions often cope well by wearing wider shoes and taking pain medication when needed. If your bunion is causing severe pain or limits your ability to move around, your doctor may recommend surgery. There are many types of bunion surgeries, but they all involve the removal or realignment of tissue and bone in the joint of your big toe.
Hammer toe is a bending in the joints of your toes. It can affect any toe except your big toe. Over time, hammer toe causes corns, calluses and foot pain when you wear shoes. Medication, orthotic inserts, pads and wide shoes can ease the pain and irritation for many people. If your hammer toe is caught early, you may be able to straighten it out. But if the hammer toe becomes rigid, or if it causes an open sore, your doctor may suggest surgery such as joint resection or fusion to straighten your toe.