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Bunions & Claw Toes

Bunions (Hallux-Abducto Valgus)

It grows on you…….


Bunions are often misunderstood foot problems. People often think that bunions are extra bone grows on the side of the foot, this is not the majority cause of bunions. Bunions are caused by a rotational deformity of the 1st metatarsal. When the arch is not supported the 1st metatarsal collapses and rotates.


These deformities can start off subtly, but can eventually become painful, unsightly, limit daily activities, and greatly restrict shoe choice. Wearing heels is not the primary cause of bunion development, if that was the cause then every woman who ever wore heels would have painful, unsightly forefoot protrusions and lumps.


Bunions are often associated with capsulitis, bursitis, osteoarthritis, sesamoiditis, extensor tendonitis, flat foot, high arch, hammer toe, claw toe, retracted toe, flexor hallucis longus and 2nd metatarsal overload.


Bunions are not the end of the world, there are 4 stages of bunion development, the last being when the toes overlap or there is a constant pain in the joint.

We often see patients with extremely painful, unsightly and restricting bunions and through a short course of treatment and offloading the patients are very comfortable and happy.


Bunions do not mean the end of your pretty shoe and high heel wearing days, you simply need to maintain your bunions. We offer treatments that reduce pain, increase healthy tissue in and around the joint and allow patients to lead the lifestyle they want with pretty footwear and exercise they long to do.


If the patient waits until the deformity is severe, often surgery becomes the best option. As a doctor would tell you, the goal of the surgery is primarily to remove pain and disability. Preventative care is still the best treatment.

As experts in lower extremity biomechanics, the podiatrist can offer you nonsurgical management with tailored advice, ergonomic shoes, orthotic insoles and other modalities.


Our podiatrists will:


  • Assess the joints
  • Reduce strain on the joints
  • Treatment to revascularize the joint and encourage healthy tissue formation
  • Fitting of full custom foot orthotics to help control foot function, reduce long-term damage and pain.

Hammer toe

A hammer toe is a contracture/bending of the toe, mostly at the first joint of the digit  (proximal interphalangeal joint). Usually this affects the lesser toes and are more common in women than in men.


There are two different types, Flexible Hammer Toes and those that are still moveable at the joint.


Rigid Hammer Toes are more developed and more serious than the flexible condition. The toe position is fixed and is seen in patients with severe arthritis or those who wait to seek treatment.


The tendons in a rigid hammer toe have become tight, and the joint misaligned and immobile, making surgery the usual course of treatment.


Caused by an abnormal balance of muscles in the toes, this increases pressure on tendons and joints of the toe leading to contracture


  • heredity
  • trauma
  • arthritis
  • footwear

Patients often experience pain in and around the toe, corns at the peak of pressure, redness and swelling at the joint contracture, restricted movement or pain at the base of the affected toe.

In Singapore Foot Orthotics are commonly used as a conservative treatment method for patients who prefer a non-surgical solution, however for severe bunion conditions your Podiatrist may recommend surgery by specialist Orthopaedic surgeons. Podiatrist customized insoles are required for post bunion surgery so as to keep the foot in the optimal position so as to help with proper recovery and prevent reoccurrence.


The X-ray image here shows the first toe joint degenerating with a curvature of the bone (bunion).




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