A bunion, or hallux valgus, results from one of the bones in the big toe shifting out of position towards the smaller toes and causing a lump to form on the outside of the toe. These can be painless or cause a significant deformity causing severe pain and interfering with daily activities. A bunionette is a similar but smaller lump on the pinky toe. Calluses, corns, and redness can form over the bunions due to repeated friction. Bunions happen from wearing shoes that are too tight, a genetic predisposition to them, or a combination of these factors. These can get worse over time if left untreated. Since bunion pain is worse when wearing shoes, it is important to find shoes that have a wide enough toe box that allows the toes to move. If you have bunion problems, consult with a podiatrist who can suggest treatment options that can increase your comfort.
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
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Vista, CA and Las Vegas, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.