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Q: What is the difference between a bunion and a hammertoe?

A: A bunion refers to a bump of bone just behind the great toe or the little toe. It is caused by the metatarsal bone just behind the toe and may be due to the shape of the bone or a gradual change in the angle of the metatarsal bone with respect to the toe. A hammertoe is simply a crooked toe and typically has contractures of one or more of the joints in the toe. The general rule for treatment of these is NON-surgical care initially, although many surgical treatment options may be available depending upon the person’s overall health.

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