What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a bony prominence seen on the side of the big toe which causes it to lean towards the second toe instead of pointing straight. This results in forming a bunion by making the bones go out of alignment. Bunions begin with the big toe leaning to the second toe and eventually altering the angle of the bone over many years and slowly forming a bony prominence which becomes increasingly prominent. Some patients never show symptoms and others show symptoms in the later stages. Bunions have a progressive nature and will gradually get worse but in some cases bunions worsen more rapidly than others
- Bunions are often caused by a mechanical instability in the big toe joint. Certain foot types can make a person prone to developing bunions
- Wearing shoes that obstruct the toe may cause the deformity to get progressively worse and the symptoms to appear sooner
- They are usually hereditary (genetic). If one parent has bunions, it is very likely you will get them too!
- Standing for long periods of time can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.
- Growth of a bony prominence from the side of the big toe joint causing deformation.
- Pain, redness and swelling over the big toe joint
- Pain when walking or bending toe
- In severe cases the big toe will overlap over or under the second toe
Periodic evaluation and x-rays may be advised or in some cases observation of the bunion is sufficient. In the cases where treatment is needed patients are advised to seek treatments early on
- Custom orthotics may be provided by your podiatrist will prevent the bunions from getting worse. It will not correct the deformity, but rather prevent
worsening of it.
- Wearing appropriate shoes is important. High heels and pointed toe shoes are not recommended and will aggravate the condition
- Padding placed over the bunion can help ease the pain.
- Avoid activities that aggravate the bunion pain such as standing for long periods of time
- Help reduce the inflammation by applying an ice pack several times a day
Surgical options may be discussed if non-surgical treatment does not relieve the pain or if the bunion interferes with everyday activities.