Bunions

Also known as: Hallux valgus.

What are bunions?

A bunion is a hard bump that develops on the inside of the foot where the joint of the big toe meets the foot. They tend to in occur in young adolescents 10-15 years of age (girls more than boys) and can become so large that wearing a shoe becomes difficult.

What causes bunions? 

Bunions can develop in families and be an inherited condition. Usually however they develop, over time, from pressure on the joint from too tight shoes/with a high heel. Sometimes they result from an underlying neurological disorder.

What are the signs/symptoms of bunions?

Signs/symptoms include a swelling at the base of the big (frequently painful, particularly when walking) which may become increasingly large, a second toe that is pushed out of its normal position, with redness, hardened skin, calluses or corns over the area, and stiffness and difficulty moving the foot or toe.

What are bunion care options? 

Noninvasive, non-surgical treatment by ensuring appropriately fitting, comfortable shoes, (except in severe cases) is recommended. If the area is inflamed, using padding, icing the foot or taking medication can help to manage bunion pain. More severe bunions which don’t respond to nonsurgical management will need to be treated surgically.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 8/7/2018 9:26:07 AM

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