A bunion (hallux valgus) is a common foot problem where abnormal bony bump develops at the joint of the big toe. The big toe can become stiff and lean towards the second toe and the joint can swell outward and become painful. As the joint becomes more deformed, wearing shoes and walking can become more difficult. Although bunions are not usually a serious condition, they usually grow larger and more painful over time.
Bunions most often occur as a result of an inherited foot type. In some cases, bunions may also develop because of an injury, arthritis or neuromuscular disease. While tight shoes don’t cause bunions, the crowding of toes can make them worse over time.
Although much less common, bunions can also occur on the fifth metatarsal bone where they are referred to as bunionettes. Similar to the bunion near the great toe, bunionettes are often caused by an inherited foot type and can be aggravated by certain shoe gear. Bunions are diagnosed through physical examination, but X-rays are also administered to determine the type and extent of the bone deformity.
There are many non-surgical and surgical treatment options for bunions. Dr. Schottenstein can help to advise you on the best treatment for you based on the extent of your deformity, your symptoms, x-ray findings, age, activity level, and other factors.