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bunion vs hammer toe

A bunion and a hammer toe are two different conditions that affect the foot, although they can be related.

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. This bump is caused by the displacement of the bone and tissue at the joint, which leads to a protrusion on the side of the foot. Bunions can be caused by genetics, foot injuries, and certain types of shoes that don't fit properly. Symptoms can include pain, inflammation, and difficulty walking.

A hammertoe, on the other hand, is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toes in which the toe is bent at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. It can be caused by an imbalance of the tendons, muscles, and ligaments that control the toe, which can lead to the toe curling under itself. It can also be caused by tight or ill-fitting shoes, high heels or trauma that can force the toe into an unnatural position. Symptoms of hammertoe can include pain, difficulty walking, and difficulty fitting into shoes.

In some cases, a bunion can cause a hammertoe to develop as the bunion can change the mechanics of the big toe joint and cause the other toes to crowd and curl.

Treatment for both conditions is similar and include wearing shoes with a wide toe box, using padding or cushioning to protect the affected area, and in some cases surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying problem. In addition, physical therapy, orthotics, and medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to relieve pain and inflammation.