What is a Bunion?

A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a bony bump that protrudes from the base of your big toe. Bunions are caused by a misalignment of the bones in the foot and toes, often the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) between your first and second toes.

It’s most common among women and can also occur in children. Heredity plays a role, as do other factors that increase the risk of developing bunions, including foot injuries and flat feet.


Bunions can develop from a variety of causes. They are most 拇趾外翻 common in women, and are thought to be triggered by wearing shoes that are too narrow around the big toe.

Other risk factors include flat feet, low arches, and loose joints and tendons. Rheumatoid arthritis can also increase a person’s chances of developing bunions.

Adolescents are also more prone to getting bunions. This may be a result of changing their footwear so often, which puts extra pressure on their feet.

Although there are some nonsurgical treatments for bunion, surgery is the only treatment that can actually reverse a bunion. The goal of nonsurgical treatment is to reduce pain and keep the bunion from getting worse. Other treatment options include icing your foot before and after long periods of standing, wearing shoes with arch supports or bunion pads, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and using natural anti-inflammatory supplements. Surgical options are sometimes recommended for severe bunions that cannot be treated with other methods.


A bunion is a bony bump that appears at the base of your big toe (also called your first toe). It usually forms when your metatarsal bone shifts toward the inside of your foot.

This causes the big toe to push forward against the second toe. It also causes the joint at the base of your big toe (called the MTP joint) to become enlarged.

Bunions can develop in people with a wide range of risk factors, including heredity and certain foot shape or biomechanics issues. They can also happen as a result of a traumatic injury to the ligaments that hold your foot together.

Pain, swelling and stiffness are often the first symptoms of a bunion. These can be relieved by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) are common medications to treat the pain of a bunion.


When a bunion is diagnosed, doctors examine your foot to see if it is caused by a structural problem in the joint. Bunions develop at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, which is where the big toe bone and a metatarsal bone meet.

The doctor will look for changes in the position of the MTP joint. If the bone in the joint shifts toward the inside of your foot, it causes the big toe to angle outward.

If a bunion isn’t corrected, it can become painful. It can also interfere with walking or putting on shoes.

Nonsurgical treatments can be very effective in reducing pain, swelling and other symptoms of a bunion. If these don’t help, your provider may recommend surgery to correct the bunion and realign your bones.


A bunion can interfere with your daily activities, but there are a number of treatments available. They will not completely fix your bunions, but they can relieve pain and keep them from getting worse.

Surgical treatment is sometimes necessary when nonsurgical treatments aren’t enough to relieve the symptoms of a bunion. These procedures can include bunionectomy and osteotomy.

Bunionectomy removes the enlarged bone and realigns the joint structures. The procedure may require the use of metal pins, screws or plates.

Osteotomy, on the other hand, shaves the bony excess on the side of your foot’s metatarsal head. Recovery takes a few weeks and requires the use of a postoperative shoe or orthotics.

There are also a number of other nonsurgical treatment options, including wearing wider shoes with room for the big toe and taking over-the-counter medications. If these don’t help, we can also suggest physical therapy and injections to reduce pain and inflammation.

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