Hallux Abducto Valgus (HAV), commonly known as a Bunion, is a misaligned big toe joint that can become swollen and tender. The deformity causes the first joint of the big toe to slant outward while the toe itself points to the smaller toes. The major reason a person might experience bunions is in the genetics of their family. If your biological mother or father had bunions, the chances are pretty high that you might get them as well.

Bunions are aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toes. This includes the high heeled shoes in women and (as we see in Texas) the Western Boots for men. There are conservative measures that can help slow the advancement of the deformity and help to decrease the pain. The most common conservative approaches include a change in shoe gear and the use of prescription custom molded orthotics. However, surgery to address the underlying bone condition is often recommended in order to address the underlying cause of the painful joint.


Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and require surgery. People with hammertoe may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. They may also feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes. Causes of hammertoe include improperly fitting shoes and muscle imbalance.

Treatment for the condition typically involves shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and toe exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Commercially available straps, cushions or non-medicated corn pads may also relieve symptoms.