Bunions (hallux valgus) are a common foot problem involving the formation of a bump at the base of the big toe joint (first metatarsal joint). Bunions often lead to pain, swelling, and tenderness of the affected area. Sometimes, bunions can form on the outside base of the little toe. These are called a tailor's bunion or bunionettes.
Bunions are found in people of all ages and genders. However, some people are more likely to get bunions than others, including:
Bunions can be very painful and can get worse if left untreated.
A bunion is a bump caused by irregular positioning of certain bones in the feet. This condition can be inherited (passed down from parent to child) or can develop over time. As the big toe bone (first phalange) pushes inward, it disrupts the alignment of the main foot bone (first metatarsal). Sometimes, the sac of fluid that surrounds and cushions
the toe joint, known as the bursal sac, becomes inflamed, causing pain and increasing the size of the bump. Bunions are not caused by bones that have grown too much, they are caused by uneven positioning of the bones.
Pain from bunions can occur in different areas on the foot.
The symptoms caused by bunions vary from person to person,
and can include:
Wearing comfortable and supportive shoes is the first step in helping to relieve pain and other symptoms associated with bunions. Good choices for shoes may include:
Custom made and specially designed over-the-counter shoe inserts (orthotics) are also available. These inserts are placed directly into the shoe and may slow or even stop a bunion from becoming worse. Over-the counter inserts may be used to increase shock absorption and reduce "hot spots" (areas of irritation) or to help with long-term arch support. Custom orthotics, which are arch supports prescribed by a foot and ankle specialist (podiatrist), are made individually for each patient and can be helpful in reliving symptoms.
Other non-surgical treatment options include:
If finding comfortable shoes and using other non-surgical remedies
does not sufficiently relieve pain, it may be necessary to consider
There are many effective surgical options available and the type of procedure selected is based on the needs of the patient and the current condition of the bunion. For a very minor bunion with bump pain, a foot and ankle specialist may recommend a simple shaving of the painful bump with or without soft tissue removal. More commonly, bunion surgery involves cutting the first main foot bone and shaving off the bony bump of the big toe joint. Once the first main foot bone is cut is, it is returned to its appropriate position and is secured with screws, pins,
What to expect after surgery:
This information on foot, leg and lower body health conditions is provided by The Podiatry Institute, dedicated to advancing the standard of care in podiatric medicine and its effects on musculoskeletal health. The Podiatry Institute does not endorse a specific treatment, product, or therapy. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your health care provider on all matters relating to this or any other condition that may affect your health.
You can say good night to bunions!
Orthaheel Women’s Action Walker Shoes — podiatrist-designed Orthaheel footwear for amazing heel pain relief
Orthaheel Women’s Tide Thong Sandals help relieve foot and lower body pain with built-in orthotics
For a seamless slip-on with an amazing s-t-r-e-t-c-h-FootSmart Women's Stretchies Slip-Ons
Sign up for exclusive offers
Sign up to receive emails about new products and offers