What is a bunion?
A bunion is an often painful bump on the side of the big toe joint. It results in a deformity in which the big toe points in towards the second toe, while the metatarsal bone jets inwards, with its apex forming the “bump”. Bunions can range from a mild bump to a dramatic deformity where the big toe overlaps the second toe.
- “Bump” pain associated with wearing certain shoes
- Sharp, stabbing joint pain.
- Difficulty fitting into most shoes
- Pain to surrounding areas of the foot as the big toe joint no longer functions properly
- Painful callouses
- Genetics (bunions tend to run in families)
- Ligamentous laxity
- Flat feet or excessive pronation
- Wearing certain shoes does not cause a bunion but it can certainly worsen the deformity, accelerate the deformity or cause its recurrence after correction.
Bunions can be diagnosed from visual inspection. X-rays are needed for detailed assessment of the severity and nature of the bunion as well as for planning of any surgical treatments.
- Custom orthotics: these can incorporate features to optimize joint function while also reducing excessive arch collapse that leads to pressure on the big toe joint.
- Wide shoes
- Bunion Splints
- Rocker bottom shoes
- Surgery. Not every bunion requires surgery. For those that do, there are numerous bunion procedures and your doctor will have to carefully assess the severity, nature, causes of your bunion as well as your specific activity level and goals to determine the proper procedure.