are painful swellings that usually develop on the inner side
of the foot near the base of the first toe (hallux). Bunions
result from abnormal bone formation in the first metatarsalphalangeal
joint and misalignment of the first toe.
Bunions can be related to inflammation or to degenerative disease
(e.g., osteoarthritis). They cause redness, tenderness, and pain,
and alter the normal position of the first toe. "Hallux
abducto valgus" (HAV) is a term that refers to the hallux
going away (abducting) from the midline of the body and twisting
so the inside edge touches the ground and the outside edge turns
upward. Essentially, this term describes the deviation of the
toe toward the outside of the foot.
Bunions worsen over time and cause discomfort, difficulty walking,
and skin problems such as corns and lesions. Sometimes, a small
fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the joint becomes inflamed (called
bursitis), causing additional swelling, redness, and pain.
Less frequently, bunions occur at the base of the fifth toe.
When this occurs, it is called a "tailor's bunion."
Bunions are one of the most common foot problems. They often
run in families, which suggests that the inherited shape of the
foot may predispose people to them.
Pronated (flat) feet are unstable and often cause bunions. Body
weight is repeatedly transferred to the hallux while walking,
and in flat feet, this transfer of weight allows certain muscles
to become stronger than others. This overpowering of muscles
causes the toe to bend and deform.
Bunions may be caused by tight, pointy-toed, or high-heeled
shoes, and shoes that are too small. Women get bunions much more
often than men. Improper shoes exacerbate the underlying cause
of flat, unstable feet.
Come in For a Consultation
Treatment for bunions includes a thorough evaluation by a podiatrist.
The only way to eliminate bunions is by surgical removal.