What is a bunion?

A bunion is a large bump on the big toe joint on the inner side of the foot. On a foot with a bunion, the big toe angles toward the other toes, potentially even laying over or under the second toe. Bunions are a source of irritation, as they can be painful and inconvenient. If left untreated, they can become very severe and affect your mobility.

What causes it?

Bunions are caused by placing stress on the first metatarsal, which stresses the tendons and ligaments attached to it. This can be made worse by footwear that constricts the toes, like high heels or pointed toe shoes. Some inherited traits, like feet with heels that that roll inward, make development of bunions more likely, but the most common cause of bunions is improper footwear.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of bunions include pain, redness and inflammation when irritated, and a bump at the base of the big toe. To diagnose this condition, your doctor will do a physical exam and review your medical history. Your physician will check for the symptoms, including misalignment of toes caused by pressure from the big toe.

How are bunions treated?

Several surgical options are available for bunions. Only your doctor can determine which procedure would work best for your specific condition. Recovery from bunion surgery varies from 6 weeks to 6 months.

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