Find Answers to Your Questions About Foot Care and Injury Prevention

Our Palm Desert podiatry team fields questions daily. Do you have a question about how to manage your foot pain? Do you have a question about the safety of a current footwear fad? Do you want to know more about foot and ankle injury prevention? If so, we hope you find the answers you need here.

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  • Do bunion pads really work?

    Bunion pads main purpose is to cushion the pressure of the bump on the side of your big toe joint against anything that will put pressure on the toe. This often happens when wearing shoes.  There are various types of pads available to the public.  They can be found in your pharmacy, in some food stores in the foot care isle, in many different catalogs from stores, and online. All of these different pads main function is to try and decrease the pressure of the bunion against the shoe. 

    Bunion pads come in many different sizes and materials.  They can be made of foam, felt type material and gel.  Some pads come with an adhesive backing while others may have some type of a loop you use to put over the great toe to keep it on and in place. 

    Some people can get significant relief with using bunion pads or cushions regularly, while others can have minimal relief of symptoms. They will not change the shape of the bunion but may help give some relief till further care or surgery can be performed.  If you have a painful bunion on your feet, contact Dr. Harvey R. Danciger for a comprehensive evaluation and recommendation for the best treatment for your condition.

  • Why are there flat bumps on my feet?

    There are lots of possible reasons you might develop lumps and bumps on your feet, heels, ankles, or back of your leg. Blisters, cysts, warts, bruises, tumors, or other conditions can create small pockets of swollen tissues from time to time.

    One less well known type of bump that may appear on your feet or your lower legs is a xanthoma. These are often relatively flat in shape and yellowish in color, and are formed when fatty lipids build up and form a deposit underneath your skin. Although the bumps themselves are for the most part harmless, their presence may suggest a separate underlying problem, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.

    Since these underlying conditions can be quite dangerous if left untreated, we recommend that you set an appointment with Dr. Danciger to investigate any strange lumps, nodules, or other masses you may discover on your feet, ankles, or calves. Dial 760-568-0108 today to see us at our Palm Desert, CA office.

  • How long does it take to recover from bunion surgery?

    There’s no simple answer to this question. Recovery times will vary depending on the severity of the initial condition, the type of surgical procedure selected, how closely you follow your surgeon’s instructions, your general health status, and other factors. It also depends on what is meant by “recovery”—some residual pain or swelling may be present for several months after the end of primary healing and rehabilitation periods.

    For relatively minor procedures, especially those only involving soft tissues (no bone), recovery may last no longer than 6 weeks. For a major surgery, it may be 6 months or more for a complete recovery, and about 3 months before you can wear regular shoes or engage in normal daily weight-bearing activity.

    While no one enjoys a lengthy recovery, don’t let that be your excuse—if conservative treatments have failed, surgery is often the best (and only) way to improve your quality of life and get you back to full strength. We think a few months of recovery is more than worth it. To schedule an appointment, call Dr. Danciger today at 760-568-0108.

  • What is Haglund’s deformity?

    Haglund’s deformity is a common foot condition in which a bony growth forms at the back of your heel. It’s also familiarly known by its nickname, “pump bump,” which is based on the observation that it’s especially common among women who frequently wear pump-style shoes.

    In truth, any type of shoe with a rigid back (many men’s dress shoes, for example) can cause similar symptoms. There’s also usually a genetic or biomechanical component as well: people with unusually high arches or especially tight Achilles tendons tend to be more susceptible, as such conditions put extra stress on the back of the heel.

    If you’re dealing with heel pain due to a Haglund’s deformity enlargement, contact Harvey Danciger, DPM, in Palm Desert. He has the tools and experience necessary to relieve your symptoms and, if necessary, surgically correct the deformity. Treatments may include laser therapy for painful inflammation, shoe modifications such as orthotics, and a period of rest and immobilization, depending on your specific circumstances. Give us a call at (760) 568 – 0108 and let Dr. Harvey Danciger DPM bump away your heel pain today.

  • Do I need surgery for my claw toe?

    Claw toe is a common foot deformity in which the four smaller toes bend and curl up at the joint nearest to the foot. The toes then bend down at the middle and end joints, which is what gives the toe a claw-like appearance. Poor footwear and weakened muscles in the foot commonly contribute to this problem. They can cause a great deal of pain, as the toes rub against footwear and calluses and corns often develop. Claw toes start out flexible but can become rigid over time.

    We make every effort to exhaust conservative treatment options before heading into discussion about surgery. If footwear modifications, physical therapy, special pads, taping, and splinting fail to improve your symptoms, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem and resolve your discomfort.

    If you are at the beginning stages, allow us to help stop the progression of this deformity. If your toes are rigid and painful, we can tailor a treatment plan to help you find relief. Contact Harvey R. Danciger, DPM for an appointment—you can reach our Palm Desert, CA office by calling (760) 568-0108.

  • Why do my toes look scrunched up?

    There are a couple of conditions that may be occurring. Hammertoe and mallet toe are two common abnormalities that result in toes changing shape. Aside from looking odd and not lying flat, they can also be painful.                                            

    Both deformities can be caused by a muscle imbalance that forces the toe out of its normal position. The most common factor involved is wearing shoes with tight, narrow toe boxes or high heels. Toe muscles and tendons can contract, shorten, and pull on the toes while wearing them, and the “scrunched” up toes may not be able to straighten even when shoes are off.  With hammertoe, the toe curls up at the middle joint, and with mallet toe, the joint nearest the toenail is affected.

    Early treatment is crucial with these types of deformities as they can become fixed and more painful when left alone. Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger for treatment as soon as you see signs of your toes changing in appearance.

  • Why are my toes not lined up properly?

    When toes twist, turn, or bend in different directions, it can be unsightly and painful. If your toes are misaligned, or are lying on top of each other, you may have an overlapping or underlapping problem.

    This condition typically affects the fourth and fifth toes, although there are cases where all five toes are affected.  The exact cause isn’t known, but heredity seems to be a factor. The alignment problem stems from a muscle imbalance that pulls on the ligaments of the toes, causing them to move out of place. Tight-fitting shoes can aggravate this problem too. If your toes are curling up rather than lying on top of or under other toes, it’s possible you have hammertoe or mallet toe.

    Each of these conditions will worsen over time without appropriate treatment. Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger at the first sign of an abnormal development with your feet. Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108.

  • Do bunion splints correct bunions?

    The answer is no.  Bunion splints are worn, at times, after surgery to maintain the alignment post operatively, but they will not correct a bunion deformity.  You cannot use a splint to re-align the bones and joint problems with a bunion, also called hallux abducto valgus.

  • What is this lump on my toe?

    One of the most common causes is a corn. These develop on the top of and between your toes where they experience friction from your shoes. The thickened areas of skin are a form of defense against the irritation. If the lump is along the side of your big or littlest toe, it is most likely a bunion or bunionette. This common deformity is usually hereditary but factors such as poor-fitting footwear can impact their growth and severity. Bunions need to be treated at the first sign of symptoms to avoid future pain and severe deformity. A small growth of thickened skin could also be a wart, a hidden sliver, a reaction to an injury, or possibly skin cancer.

    Don’t wait to find out the cause of the lump on your toe. Dr. Harvey Danciger can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment. Make an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA office by calling (760) 568-0108.

  • What is causing my toe pain?

    There are several possible causes of your toe pain. If your big toe is hurting, it could be due to a condition called hallux limitus. You may feel pain and stiffness that is due to an abnormal foot structure. Another cause is a form of arthritis called gout. A gout flare-up in the big toe joint typically leaves a patient with sharp, sudden pain and inflammation. A pinched or irritated nerve in the ball of your foot causes a condition called Morton’s neuroma, and your toes can feel the effects of this as well. A sprain, stress fracture, and deformities such as bunions or hammertoes can cause discomfort as well.

    With so many reasons for toe pain, it is important to visit our office for accurate treatment and diagnosis. Call Harvey R. Danciger, DPM at our office in Palm Desert, CA at (760) 568-0108, or request an appointment online.

  • When do I need bunion surgery?

    Bunion surgery is done when there is pain in the big toe joint, the bunion, or hallux abducto valgus, gets irritated and inflamed with pressure and shoes, prevents you from participating in daily activities, or may be the cause of pain in the other toes or ball of the foot.  These are just some of the conditions which may require surgery if conservative measures are not enough to afford you relief.


    Some conservative treatments are padding, wider shoes, injections, laser treatments, orthotics.


    If you are suffering from bunions, there is help available.  Come into our Palm Desert, CA office for care.  (760) 568-0108

  • Does the size of my bunion determine how much pain I have?

    The answer is no.  Size does not always matter.  The amount of pressure on the bones, the amount of abnormal motion the foot goes through while standing and walking, the tightness of the calf muscles can all play a role in how much pain, swelling and redness you may have.  Shoes can also cause increased pain in the area.


    Don’t think that just because a bunion is small, there cannot be significant discomfort and pain.  The earlier the diagnosis is made and treatment initiated, the better the prognosis.  Call Harvey R. Danciger, DPM, located in Palm Desert, CA for the start to healthy feet.

  • Why do my foot joints ache so much?

    It can be frustrating to come home at the end of the day with aching feet and painful joints. The wear and tear on your feet as you age can result in a few conditions that may be the reason for your discomfort. One cause could be a common condition called bursitis. There are small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae that cushion your bones where they meet. The bursae in the heel and the base of the big toe, areas that are exposed to repetitive motion, can become inflamed and result in aching pain.

    Having a foot deformity such as hammertoes or bunions that often cause extra pressure on your foot structure could be the reason for joint pain. Another could be inflammation due to osteoarthritis. The cartilage at the ends of your bones can wear down over time, which lets them rub against each other and results in inflammation and pain.


    It is important to find out why your joints are painful to obtain the right treatment. Many of these situations will only worsen over time without intervention, so call Dr. Danciger today at (760) 568-0108 for an appointment.

  • If I have bunions, will my kids get them?

    Bunions are caused when there is too much abnormal motion the foot goes through during walking, standing and activities.  Over time, the abnormal pulling and strain on the tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints, causes the big toe to move towards the second toe and the first metatarsal, the long bone behind the big toe, to move inward.  The result is a bump which can become painful, red and swollen.  This is a bunion, or hallux valgus.  Wearing shoes can be difficult and painful.  Bunion deformities tend to run in families, however; it can skip a generation or two.

    If you are concerned about bunions in your family call the office for an appointment.  Dr. Danciger can examine the child and determine if there are hereditary components which predispose your child to a bunion.  Click here to request an appointment or call (760) 568-0108.

  • Do shoes cause Bunions?

    Shoes can increase the pressure on the bunion, (bump by the big toe joint or little toe joint), but they do not cause a bunion from forming.  The increase in friction and pressure from the shoe will cause irritation and make the bunion become red, swollen and more painful many times.  People that never wear shoes from different areas in the world still develop bunions over time.  Shoes can definitely aggravate the bunion pain and by causing swelling make them look larger.

    If you are suffering from bunion pain and cannot be as active as you would like to be, or wear the shoes you want to, give foot doctor Harvey Danciger a call to schedule an appointment at (760) 568-0108.

  • What causes hammertoes?

    Hammertoes are a very common deformity characterized by toes that are curled and bent. Knowing what causes them is important to prevent them from developing and to manage their progression if you already have them.  

    An imbalance of the muscles and tendons in the foot is the most common cause of this toe problem. This imbalance can pull on tendons that cause the toes to curl up in the middle. Secondly, shoes play a role as well, and while they don’t necessarily cause hammertoes they are certainly an aggravating factor. High heels and/or narrow toe boxes often do not allow muscles and tendons the ability to fully extend, and can contribute to a hammertoe problem getting worse quicker. Finally, this condition can also be passed down from your parents.

    If you know you are at risk, contact us for effective preventative measures to avoid this deformity. If they are already present, we have the treatment to stop them from getting worse. Call Dr. Harvey Danciger today at (760) 568-0108 or make an appointment online.

  • Will I need a cast after bunion surgery?

    That depends.  Some bunion surgery does not require you to be in a cast.  You will need a special shoe, a post-operative shoe, to wear for a period of time.  Once there is healing noted on the x-rays, you will be able to wear an athletic shoe for a few more weeks then progress into normal shoe wear.

    Some surgeries for bunions, or Hallux Abducto Valgus, do require you to be in a cast for about 4-6 weeks.  Some people can use a roll about or crutches during this time; others can put weight on the foot in the cast and walk around.  It all depends on what procedures were necessary to perform.

    If you are suffering from a painful bunion, see Dr. Harvey Danciger for an evaluation, diagnosis and discussion of your surgical and non-surgical treatment options.  He is located in Palm Desert, CA.  Call now for an appointment (760) 568-0108.

  • Can bunions be healed without surgery?

    Bunions are extremely common and a foot deformity we treat on a regular basis at our office in Palm Desert, CA. They most often develop from having a faulty foot structure, and wearing ill-fitting shoes such as pointy high heels often aggravate the condition and cause it to worsen quicker.

    Unfortunately, once a bunion has developed there is nothing you can do conservatively to make it go away. Once the toe joint has become misaligned and a bump has developed on the side of your foot, it is there to stay. When the bump of a bunion begins to appear, what you can do at this point is take action to ensure it doesn’t worsen. We encourage our patients to wear roomy, comfortable shoes or use padding and taping to reduce stress on the bunion and keep the foot in a normal position. We can offer medication therapy and custom orthotics that can stabilize and support your feet and prevent your bunion from getting worse.

    It is when conservative treatment options fail to provide relief that we move into considering surgery. If bunions are causing you pain and interfering with your daily activities, please call our office to discuss treatment options. You can make an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger online or by calling our office at (760) 568-0108. 

  • Are there other options besides surgery for a bunion?

    Yes.  There are many people that have a bunion that do not need surgery.  Sometimes, if we can diagnose the problem in the early stages and the bunion is not too large, we can use padding, injections, laser therapy, and orthotics to alleviate the pain.  Often time’s people are wearing shoes that are too short causing increased pressure on the bunion and are thus aggravating the bunion as well.  This can cause redness, swelling and pain.

    Call (760) 568-0108 to arrange an appointment with Palm Desert podiatrist Harvey Danciger, DPM.  Let us discuss what options you have.

  • Why are my toes curling?

    If your toes are bending downward, it is most likely due to a deformity. Three of the most common toe problems include hammertoe, mallet toe and claw toe. The difference between these three toe deformities is which joint in the toe is affected. A hammertoe affects the second, third, fourth and/or fifth toe and causes the joint in the middle of the toe to become bent or curled up. Mallet toe affects the joint at the end of the toe and claw toe involves a combination of all of the joints.

    These deformities are most commonly caused by a muscle imbalance that can pull on tendons and cause toes to contract into the characteristic curled position. Heredity plays a role if your parents also lived with this condition, and wearing shoes that squeeze toes into tight positions can be an aggravating factor.

    Curled toes usually start out being flexible, but these conditions are degenerative in nature. This means they worsen and your toes could become stiff and rigid over time. If you notice even minor symptoms starting, contact Dr. Danciger and begin preventative treatment. If your toes are already at an advanced, painful stage, we have more aggressive treatment options to bring your feet back to health. Call our office today at (760) 568-0108.