What is the definition of Bunions?

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

What are the alternative names for Bunions?

Hallux valgus

What are the causes for 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 for 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 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.

What are the current treatments for Bunions?

When a bunion first begins to develop, you can do the following to care of 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 bunionectomy realigns the toe and removes the bony bump. There are more than 100 different surgeries to treat this condition.

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?

Call 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.

Bunion removal - Series


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, Canale ST, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 81.

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.

  • Condition: Foot Deformities in Pediatric Patients
  • Journal: BMC musculoskeletal disorders
  • Treatment Used: Talectomy
  • Number of Patients: 48
  • Published —
This study described the outcomes of talectomy using two approaches in the treatment of pediatric patients with foot deformities.
  • Condition: Elderly Patient with Unresectable Colon Cancer
  • Journal: Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy
  • Treatment Used: Capecitabine Plus Bevacizumab Therapy
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
The purpose of the study was to review the case of a case of unresectable colon cancer in an elderly patient treated with capecitabine plus bevacizumab therapy.
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Other
  • Participants: 200
  • Start Date: February 28, 2018
ACTION in the OR: Patient Satisfaction With High Efficiency OR Design in Orthopedic Surgery
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Enrolling by invitation
  • Intervention Type: Device
  • Participants: 25
  • Start Date: November 7, 2019
Correction of Multi-Plane Hallux Valgus Deformity Using the Phantom® Intramedullary Nail