Bunions 101

What are bunions?

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It forms when there is a change in position of the long bones of the foot, which causes the big toe to get pulled towards the other toes.  This results in a large “bump” that forms on the inside of the foot

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Symptoms

  • A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe
  • Redness, soreness and swelling around the joint of your big toe
  • Thick skin on the base of your big toe
  • Corns or calluses
  • Limited movement of your big toe

Risk Factors

  • High heels: Wearing high heels crowds your toes.
  • Heredity: Developing bunions may be possible because of an inherited structural foot defect.
  • Arthritis: Pain from arthritis may change how you walk which can make you more susceptible to bunions.

Treatment

Conservatively, attempts to alleviate pressure on the bump with proper shoes that have a wider toe box are a first step. There are also spacers or pad options as well as inserts/orthotics for shoes.

Surgically, there are a variety of options to treat bunions depending on the extent of the deformity. Some of these options include:

  • Simple bump removal
  • Realigning the joint with a bone cut
  • Fusing the big toe joint
  • Fusing a joint in the middle of the foot

The goal of surgery is to relieve discomfort by returning your toe its correct position.

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Learn more and schedule an appointment with  Jeremy Fleishchmann, DPM.

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