A bunion is an unnatural, bony hump that occurs at the joint where the toe bends. Bunions are most often located at the big toe. As it deviates toward the other toes, the base of the big toe pushes outward on the first metatarsal forming a bunion. Women are especially prone to developing bunions from wearing ill fitting shoes such as high heels for a prolonged period of time. Bunions sometimes develop with arthritis and they can be extremely painful, especially when walking. They're also vulnerable to excess pressure and friction from shoes and can lead to the development of calluses.
A hammertoe occurs from an imbalance in the muscles and ligaments around the toe joint. This causes the middle joint of the toe to become stuck in a bent position. For people with diabetes, hammertoes can be a much more serious problem and you should consult your doctor right away. The two types of hammertoes are flexible hammertoes, when the toe can still be moved at the joint, and rigid hammertoes, where the they become so rigid they cannot move.
The severity of your condition determines the treatment options for a bunion or a hammertoe. For rigid hammertoes you should seek medical advice right away. Though there is no cure for hammertoe, some of these options may relieve the pain and discomfort:
When surgery is necessary there are several surgical techniques used to treat hammertoes and bunions. For less severe cases of hammertoes or bunions, the doctor will remove a small piece of bone at the damaged area and realign the toe joint. Bunion surgery focuses on aligning the first toe and, if needed, straightens the remaining toes as well. These procedures are generally done as outpatient procedures and you will be able to return home the same day as the surgery.