When you think of foot deformities, you might first think of birth defects, however there are deformities that can occur over time for a number of reasons. Hammertoes, bunions, and Haglund’s deformity are among the most common.

Hammertoes: Toes Bent or Contracted

A hammertoe is a bent toe that resembles the shape of a hammer—the middle joint bends upward forcing the end of the toe downward. They can either be flexible or rigid (unable to bend at the joint).  These can feel very uncomfortable in shoes with friction or rubbing of the bone against the top of the shoe causing a corn or a callus, which can become inflamed and very painful. In serious situations, one can develop an infection.

Hammertoes are caused as a result of muscle imbalances from either a high arched foot or flat foot, a fractured toe, or improper shoes.

Treatment options consist of a change in shoes, padding of the area, and paring down the corn. If conservative care does not give you relief, surgery is an option to straighten out the toe.

Bunions: Painful Protrusions

Foot SilhouetteA bunion (also known as hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus) is an enlargement of a bone on the side of the big toe joint.  These bunions can be very painful, especially when wearing shoes that place pressure upon the area. 

While shoes aggravate a bunion and can cause it to get worse, the cause of this condition is typically hereditary factors like inherited foot types. If you have a flat foot or a high arch, for instance, this can lead to the development of a bunion.

With this condition, the big toe joint becomes misaligned causing the big toe to drift closer to the second toe, and the joint to protrude outward. Pressure on the area then causes the bone to become even more prominent. When this prominence gets irritated or rubbed, the symptoms will include pain at the big toe joint, underneath the joint, or numbness and tingling in the area.

At Podiatry Care Specialists PC, we can give you the proper diagnosis and treatment plan to relieve your bunion pain. This may include taking digital x-rays, evaluating your foot wear, padding, inserts or orthotics, injections, and in severe cases, surgical options if it is warranted.

Haglund’s Deformity, a.k.a. Pump Bump

Are you having pain in the back portion of your heel? Chances are that you may have an enlargement of the heel bone called a Haglund’s Deformity. This is also commonly known as a “pump bump,” since a lot of pump-style footwear can cause this painful condition. If we look at the foot from a side view, the Achilles tendon inserts at the back portion of the heel. There are fluid filled bursa sacs that can become inflamed around this insertion area of the tendon when it is rubbing against stiff-heeled footwear. When this occurs, one may feel burning in the back or bottom portion of the heel, swelling, and an enlargement of the bone.

A Haglund’s deformity may be seen more in the high arch foot type or someone with a tight heel cord. 

At Podiatry Care Specialists PC, we will thoroughly exam your foot, possibly take digital x-rays, and provide treatment options such as shoe modification, padding, orthotics, and physical therapy. Surgery is an option to remove the bony prominence if conservative care does not help alleviate the pain.


If you are suffering from a painful foot deformity such as these, call the experts at Podiatry Care Specialists PC We have several locations throughout southeastern PA, so there’s sure to be one near you! Give us a call at (877) 905-5907.

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