Learn About Bunions

What is the definition of Bunions?

A bunion forms when your big toe points outward toward your second toe. This causes a bump to appear on the inside edge of your toe.

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What are the alternative names for Bunions?

Hallux valgus

What are the causes of Bunions?

Bunions are more common in women than men. The problem can run in families. People born with abnormal alignment of the bones in their feet are more likely to form a bunion.

Wearing narrow-toed, high-heeled shoes may lead to the development of a bunion.

The condition may become painful as the bump gets worse. Extra bone and a fluid-filled sac can grow at the base of the big toe.

What are the symptoms of Bunions?

Symptoms may include:

  • Red, thickened skin along the inside edge at the base of the big toe.
  • A bony bump at the first toe joint, with decreased movement in the toe site.
  • Pain over the joint, which pressure from shoes makes worse.
  • Big toe turned outward toward the other toes and may cross over the second toe. As a result, corns and calluses often develop where the first and second toes overlap.
  • Difficulty wearing regular shoes.

You may have problems finding shoes that fit or shoes that do not cause pain.

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What are the current treatments for Bunions?

When a bunion first begins to develop, you can do the following to care for your feet.

  • Wear wide-toed shoes. This can often solve the problem and prevent you from needing more treatment.
  • Wear felt or foam pads on your foot to protect the bunion, or devices called spacers to separate the first and second toes. These are available at drugstores.
  • Try cutting a hole in a pair of old, comfortable shoes to wear around the house.
  • Talk to your provider about whether you need inserts to correct flat feet.
  • Stretch the calf muscle of your leg to have better alignment of your feet.
  • If the bunion gets worse and more painful, surgery may help. The surgery called bunionectomy realigns the toe and removes the bony bump. There are more than 100 different surgeries to treat this condition. Please discuss with your surgeon which type can help you and why.
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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Bunions?

You can keep a bunion from worsening by taking care of it. Try to wear different shoes when it first starts to develop.

Teenagers may have more trouble treating a bunion than adults. This may be the result of an underlying bone problem.

Surgery reduces the pain in many, but not all people with bunions. After surgery, you may not be able to wear tight or fashionable shoes.

When should I contact a medical professional for Bunions?

Contact your provider if the bunion:

  • Continues to cause pain, even after self-care such as wearing wide-toed shoes
  • Prevents you from doing your usual activities
  • Has any signs of infection (such as redness or swelling), especially if you have diabetes
  • Worsening pain that is not relieved by rest
  • Prevents you from finding a shoe that fits
  • Causes stiffness and loss of movement in your big toe
How do I prevent Bunions?

Avoid compressing the toes of your foot with narrow, poor-fitting shoes.

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What are the latest Bunions Clinical Trials?
Randomised Controlled Trial Comparing the Outcome of the 3D-Printed Patient-Specific-Instrument Assisted Lapidus Fusion vs Conventional Lapidus Fusion for Surgical Correction of Hallux Valgus Deformity

Summary: RCT to compare the effectiveness of PSI assisted Lapidus surgery vs conventional Lapidus surgery in hallux valgus.

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A Multi-Center, Prospective Registry to Evaluate the Continued Safety and Performance of the Foot and Ankle Products

Summary: The objective of the registry is to evaluate the continued safety and performance of the Arthrex foot and ankle products including the ProStop implant for hyperpronated foot, Bio-Compression Screw for reconstruction surgeries of the foot, TRIM-IT Drill Pin, TRIM-IT Spin Pin for fixation of fractures and fusion (bunionectomy osteotomies) of the foot/ankle, Headless Compression Screws and Compressio...

What are the Latest Advances for Bunions?
Midterm Outcomes of Sliding Distal Metatarsal Minimally Invasive Osteotomy to Treat Bunionette Deformity.
Rotation scarf + Akin osteotomy for severe hallux valgus with a new evaluation index: distance between the first and second metatarsals.
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Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: June 08, 2022
Published By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Greisberg JK, Vosseller JT. Hallux valgus. In: Greisberg JK, Vosseller JT, eds. Core Knowledge in Orthopaedics: Foot and Ankle. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:56-63.

Murphy GA. Disorders of the hallux. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 82.

Wexler D, Campbell ME, Grosser DM. Kile TA. Bunion and bunionette. In: Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 84.