Bunions And Hammertoes Specialist

Richard de Asla, MD

Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon Located At Naples Community Hospital In Naples, FL

Bunions and hammertoes are two of the most common foot deformities. However, if they're left unmanaged, they may interfere with your mobility and overall quality of life. At the Naples Community Hospital in Naples, Florida, orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon Richard J. de Asla, MD, and the team, regularly diagnose and treat bunions and hammertoes. To learn more about your treatment options, make an appointment by calling the office today.

Bunions and Hammertoes Q & A

What are bunions?

A bunion is actually a type of foot deformity characterized by a hard, bony bump that develops on the inner side of your foot at the base of your big toe. Be aware that not all bumps around the big toe joint are bunions! 

Anyone can develop a bunion, but they are especially common in women and people who wear tight or ill-fitting shoes. However, there is often an inherited component. 

In the early stages, bunions don't always cause symptoms. However, as the deformity progresses, you might experience pain, stiffness, and difficulty with shoewear.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

The most obvious sign of a bunion is a hard, bony bump on the outer edge of your big toe. Other telltale signs include:

  • Redness or swelling on the bump around your big toe
  • Turning in of the big toe
  • Ongoing pain or pain that comes and goes
  • Limited movement of your big toe
  • Callus development under the ball of the foot

It is also common for people with bunions to develop painful calluses under the ball of the foot.

What are hammertoes?

A hammertoe is a common toe deformity that often occurs due to the weakness of the muscles of your foot. The cause of some hammertoe deformities is unknown. People who wear tight-fitting shoes for many years and people with peripheral neuropathy are more prone to developing hammertoe deformities. 

The deformity is characterized by a bent middle joint in the toe so that it resembles a hammer. As the condition worsens, you might have trouble straightening your affected toe altogether. 

What are the symptoms of hammertoe?

The most obvious sign of hammertoe is an abnormal bend in the middle joint of either the second, third, fourth, or fifth toe. You might also notice that your affected toe cannot be straightened. Over time, a hammertoe may also cause corns or calluses to form on either the top of the toe or over the very tip of the toe.

How are bunions and hammertoes diagnosed?

To diagnose bunions and hammertoes, Richard J. de Asla, MD, physically examines your feet, toes, and ankles, reviews your medical history, and asks you about your symptoms. X-rays are ordered to determine the best way to treat your condition. 

How are bunions treated?

Dr. de Asla first recommends conservative, noninvasive measures to treat bunions whenever possible. For example, he might recommend wearing shoes with a wider toe box, using toe separators, or wearing custom orthotics. If conservative treatments do not ease your symptoms, surgical intervention can be considered. 

How are hammertoes treated?

Dr. de Asla first recommends conservative measures to treat hammertoes. He might make shoewear recommendations or guide you to a variety of splints and protective pads. He might also recommend a series of at-home exercises to strengthen the toe muscles.

If these measures of care do not improve your symptoms, Dr. de Asla might recommend hammertoe surgery. To learn more about the treatment options for bunions and hammertoes, or to get a second opinion, make an appointment with Richard J. de Asla, MD, by calling the office today.

To learn more about bunions and hammertoes, visit the sites below: 

Mayo Clinic Bunions

Mayo Clinic Hammertoes

Foot Care MD