What are Bunions?

Bunions are painful bony enlargements of the joint that occurs on the outside edge of your foot by your big toe. Bunions form when the bones in your foot move the big toe out of place, which causes friction and pressure as your toes rub up against footwear. These enlargements are painful and cause constant irritation, inflammation, and redness.

What are the symptoms of Bunions?

Symptoms of bunions include an enlarged bump alongside your big toe with swelling, redness, and frequent pain. Corns and calluses can also develop from bunions.

What is the treatment for Bunions?

Treatment for bunions depends on the size and severity of the bunion. The goal of the treatment is first to relieve the symptoms and second to prevent progressive growth of the bunion.

Treatment Options:

  • Wearing more comfortable shoes and protective padding, to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removing any corns or calluses on the foot.
  • Orthotic devices—both over-the-counter and custom made—to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis that can occur over time.
  • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joints align properly. This is often recommended for adolescents with bunions.
  • Surgical treatment to remove the bunion and realign the toe, depending on the size of the bunion.

Can Bunions be prevented?

There's no way to prevent bunions ultimately. Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions. Bunions are not hereditary, but they do tend to run in families, usually because of a faulty foot structure. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to their formation. It is estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries.

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