Bunion Information Center

Monday, 20 July 2020 00:11

Bunion Information Center

What is a Bunion?  

A bunion is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe.  However, a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. The big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straightahead. This throws the bones out of alignment – producing the bunion’s “bump.”

Causes

Bunions are a progressive disorder. They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, although some people may never have symptoms. Bunions are a common foot deformity that can be inherited or occur as a result of repeated stress to the joint.  It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion. Not wearing proper sized footwear that crowd one’s toes will not cause bunions, however it can contribute to the progression of the deformity. As a result, symptoms may appear sooner with improper footwear.

Symptoms

Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:

• Pain or soreness

• Inflammation and redness

• A burning sensation

• Possible numbness

Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.

Diagnosis

Bunions are readily apparent – the prominence is visible at the base of the big toe or side of the foot. However, to fully evaluate the condition, the foot and ankle surgeon may take x-rays to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred. Because bunions are progressive, they don’t go away, and will usually get worse over time. But not all cases are alike – some bunions progress more rapidly than others. Once your surgeon has evaluated your bunion, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Most people however, find relief from wearing soft, pliable shoes, and arch supports, and from applying ice to the sore toe joint Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that’s needed. To reduce the chance of damage to the joint, periodic evaluation and x-rays by your surgeon are advised.

 

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