A bunion is considered to be a deformity of the bone. It appears as a protrusion on the side of the big toe, and is often swollen and painful. It is possible for the foot to change shape, and the style of the shoes may have to be altered. The reasons bunions develop can include genetic factors, wearing shoes that fit incorrectly, or medical conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis. This condition can be treated by using bunion pads or wearing custom made orthotics. These may be helpful in alleviating pressure on the foot that comes from the bunion. If this ailment is causing severe pain and daily activities are difficult to complete, surgery may be a consideration for permanent removal of the bunion. Please consult with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with a bunion, and would like additional treatment options.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts