A bunion is a bony bump beneath the skin that affects the joint at the base of the big toe. Bunions occur when bones in the front of the toe move out of place, causing the tip of the toe to move toward the other toes and the joint to stick out. Bunions start small but can become large over time. Women are more likely to experience bunions.


Bunions are caused by a number of factors, including wearing high heels or narrow shoes, foot injuries, arthritis, and genetics.


A visible bulging bump at the base of the big toe is the most common symptom of bunions. Swelling, redness, or soreness is also possible. Corns or calluses may develop where the toe angles inward. In some cases, the toe may overlap or cross under the smaller toes.


Physicians will diagnose bunions by examining the foot and assessing symptoms. An x-ray may be necessary to understand the structure of the foot and develop a treatment plan.


Treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the bunion. In mild cases, choosing shoes with more space, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications can relieve pain. Pads, shoe inserts, and orthotic devices may also be effective. Surgery may be required if conservative treatment options are not working and the bunion interferes with daily activities.

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