A bump on the side of the large toe due to its deviation inwards.
Bunions affect approximately 23 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 65 and 36 percent of those over the age of 65.
If you suffer from bunions, you’re definitely not alone. You may have questions about this deformity. For example, you might want to know what causes it or how you can treat it?
What are Bunions?
A bunion is a hard, bony bump that forms on the joint that connects the big toe to the foot.
A tailor’s bunion, or a bunionette, occurs on the 5th toe and the joint that connects the toe to the foot.
Bunions form when the big toe begins to push against the second toe. The force from the toes pushing against each other causes the big toe joint to enlarge. Eventually, in most cases, it will begin to stick out from the side of the foot as well.
What Causes Bunions?
There are many different issues that can cause a person to develop bunions. The following are some of the most common:
- Genetics: Some people are predisposed to bunions. If you are dealing with them, you may want to check to see if your parents or grandparents deal with them as well.
- Foot types: Flat feet and high arched feet are more susceptible to bunions
- Injuries to the Foot: Sometimes, foot injuries can misalign the bones of the big toe and cause bunions to occur.
- Congenital Deformities: You may also have been born with congenital deformities that contribute to the formation of bunions.
- Shoe Choices: Not all experts agree on whether certain shoes contribute to bunions. Many people believe that wearing shoes that are very tight or that force the foot into unnatural positions (such as high heels) can cause bunions or make them worse.
- Arthritis: There’s also a link between bunions and arthritis, specifically rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of Bunions
Most people can tell if they have a bunion just by looking down at their feet. They will notice a hard bump forming on the side of their foot near their big toe joint. That bump may also be red, sore, or swollen.
Some other common symptoms of bunions include corns or calluses that develop around the big and second toe. You may have pain that persists or occurs on an intermittent basis, and you may also have trouble walking or moving your big toe through a full range of motion.
How to Treat Bunions
More often than not, you can treat bunions with conservative measures. This includes wearing different, more comfortable shoes and using special pads or inserts to keep the toes from rubbing against each other. An orthotic or a bunion night splint may be helpful with symptoms, however, once a bunion has formed only a surgical intervention can realign the toe. Surgery is reserved for those with severe pain as success rates for bunion surgeries are quite low.
When to See a Foot Specialist
If you suspect you have a bunion, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your chiropodist. Your Chiropodist has a tool box of things that can be used to help with your bunions.