What are bunions?

Bunions, medically known as Hallux Valgus, are a common foot condition that manifests as a bony bump at the base of the big toe. This deformity occurs when the first metatarsal bone of the foot shifts outward, causing the tip of the big toe to pull towards the smaller toes. Over time, this misalignment can result in the prominent and often painful protrusion that characterizes bunions.

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What are the Signs & Symptoms of Bunions?

  • Bony bump on the outer edge of the big toe
  • Toe misalignment, with the big toe leaning towards the second toe
  • Swelling around the joint of the big toe
  • Redness over the bunion area
  • Pain and tenderness at the joint
  • Hardened skin or calluses around the bunion
  • Limited movement of the big toe
  • Corns between the toes
  • Development of hammertoe, especially of the second toe
  • Bursitis around the affected joint

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it’s important to consult with a podiatrist or foot specialist. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms, prevent progression, and maintain foot health and mobility.

Bunion FAQ

Bunions are caused by a combination of genetic predispositions, foot structure, and biomechanics. Factors like wearing tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes can exacerbate the condition.

Primarily, bunions affect the big toe, but a similar condition called a “bunionette” or “tailor’s bunion” can develop on the outside of the foot near the base of the little toe.

Treatment options range from conservative measures like custom orthotics, padding, and appropriate footwear to surgical interventions for more severe cases.

No, surgery is not always necessary. Many patients find relief through non-surgical treatments. Surgery is considered when bunions cause significant pain or interfere with daily activities.

Untreated bunions can lead to complications like bursitis, hammertoe, and metatarsalgia, making early treatment essential.

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