A bunion, medically termed hallux valgus, is a prominent, bony protrusion at the base of the big toe. Often, the only indicator of a mild bunion is its physical manifestation. However, it can also result in discomfort, swelling, and alterations in the foot's structure. In extreme instances, surgical intervention might be necessary due to related issues. Key visual indicators of a bunion are the big toe deviating toward the other toes, forming an outward bulge on the first foot bone. Additionally, there may be a raised bony bump on the foot's exterior, tough skin under the big toe, and calluses on the adjacent toe. Over time, the foot's form may drastically change, impacting both the big toe and other foot regions, making shoe selection challenging. Resulting structural modifications can cause pain, swelling, and bursitis, which is an inflammation of the toe joint's cushioning sac. Some people may face mobility issues with their big toe, affecting their walking. While many individuals do not encounter severe problems from bunions, if left untreated, complications such as arthritis in the big toe or deformities in the adjacent toe can arise. If you have a painful bunion, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can intervene and help prevent severe complications.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.
- Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
- Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
- Redness and inflammation
- Pain and tenderness
- Callus or corns on the bump
- Restricted motion in the big toe
In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Sayville, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.