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Bunion is a deformity of the joint that occurs at the base of the big toe. Many people suffer a lot of pain, before seeking treatment for bunion.

What is Bunion?

The bony, lumpy deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe is called as bunion. This deformity causes the big toe to point towards the other toes of the foot. Medically, a bunion is called as hallux abducto valgus.

The lump is often painful and leads to extreme discomfort when walking or wearing shoes. A bunion are often accompanied with swelling, redness and tenderness around the big toe.

How to Spot a Bunion?

Signs and symptoms of bunion include:

  • A lumpy, bludge at the base of the big toe
  • Swelling and redness around the big toe
  • Corns and calluses between the first and second toe
  • Persistent pain
  • Problems finding shoes that fit properly
  • Problems walking
  • Blisters around the bunion

What Leads to a Bunion?

The exact cause of bunion is a debatable topic among experts. Some experts think a bunion is a genetic condition that runs in the family. Some think it is due to wearing ill-fitting, tight fitting, high-heeled or too narrow shoes. In some, a bunion may be due to a congenital deformity or some develop it after a bad foot injury. People with rheumatoid arthritis may also develop bunion.

How is a Bunion Diagnosed?

A bunion is a quite prominent around the base of the big toe. However, the orthopedic may ask for an X-ray of the foot to check the severity and cause of the bunion.

Can Bunions Be Treated?

There are different options to treat a bunion depending on the severity of the condition. The traditional treatment methods include:

  • Wearing comfortable and broader shoes that help provide more space to the toes.
  • Padding or taping the foot in a normal position to alleviate pain and stress on the foot.
  • Use of shoe inserts or pads that help distribute the pressure on the feet evenly.
  • Application of ice packs to reduce soreness and inflammation.
  • Medications like ibuprofen can help reduce the pain.

When the above methods do not provide relief from the bunion symptoms, the doctor may recommend surgery. There are different surgical procedures for bunions that include:

  • Straightening of the big toe by removal of a part of the big toe
  • Join bones that affect the joint
  • Removal of the abnormal bony enlargement of the big toe, etc.

One should wear proper shoes and avoid wearing tight or high-heeled shoes for a long time. Visit a doctor at the first sign of bunion or persistent foot or toe pain to treat the condition before the discomfort becomes unbearable.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: April 01, 2015

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