What is a bunion?
A bunion is a bony bump at the base of your big toe. The bump can be painful.
A bunion is really just the end of one of your foot bones
The end of the foot bone appears to stick out because your big toe is pushed in
Tight or pointy shoes can cause bunions
The joint at the base of your big toe can get inflamed and eventually develop arthritis
Sometimes, wearing wider shoes or using bunion pads in your shoes is enough to ease the pain
If needed, doctors do surgery to reshape or remove some bone
A bunion is a bump at the base of the big toe. A bursa (fluid-filled sac) may develop over the joint and become inflamed and painful (bursitis).
What causes bunions?
A bunion can develop when something forces your big toe in toward your other toes. Causes of bunions include:
Rolling your foot in when you walk (overpronation), which is most common if you have flat feet
Wearing tight or pointy shoes, particularly with high heels
Once you have a bunion, pressure or stress on it makes it inflamed. Inflammation causes pain and swelling. Eventually you may have permanent pain and swelling ( osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis (OA) Arthritis is a group of diseases that makes your joints hurt, swell up, and turn red. There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. In osteoarthritis... read more ).
What are the symptoms of a bunion?
Symptoms of bunions include:
Pain in your toe joint when wearing narrow or tight shoes
Swelling, redness, and warmth
Limited motion of the toe joint
How can doctors tell if I have a bunion?
Doctors can usually tell if you have bunions by looking at your feet. They may also:
If doctors aren't sure whether you have another problem such as gout Gout If you have gout, your body makes too much uric acid. Uric acid forms normally as your body breaks down old cells and makes new cells. In gout, the uric acid forms into crystals that sometimes... read more or a joint infection, they may:
Take some fluid out of the joint using a needle and send it to a lab for testing
How do doctors treat bunions?
Doctors treat bunions by having you:
Wear shoes with a wide toe area
Put bunion pads in your shoes
Tape your foot
Wear special devices in your shoes (orthotics)
Take acetaminophen or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen, to relieve pain
If those don’t work, doctors may also:
Inject corticosteroids into the bunion
Do surgery (bunionectomy)