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



  • 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.


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.


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

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