A bunion is a bony abnormality of the joints at the base of the big toe, medically termed as hallux valgus. It develops when the big toes shove against the next toes forcing the joints of the big toe to protrude and stick out making the skin over bunion turn red and become sore.
The exact causes of this deformity are unknown, but it may be due to an inherited structural defect, wearing tight-fitting shoes, stress on the foot and certain health conditions like arthritis particularly rheumatoid arthritis. It is more common among women than men because of the style of footwear that women wear.
A protruding bump on the outside of the base of the big toe
Swelling, redness and pain in the joints like arthritis
Corn or calluses
Intermittent pain or cramp
Limited movement of the big toe
Diagnosis And Treatment
Doctors diagnose a bunion by doing a complete physical examination and an X-ray of the foot is done to determine the cause and severity of the condition.
Treatment methods vary depending on the severity of the condition and pain it causes. Conservative management can help in alleviating pressure and the pain of a bunion which include:
Wear comfortable shoes that allow plenty of space for your toes.
Reusable bunion pads made of gel or fleece are available over the counter which lower stress on the bunion and ease pain.
Orthotics are placed inside the shoes which assist to realign affected bones of your foot.
Medications and injections are given in case of extreme pain.
Applying ice or cold compression on the inflamed area several times in a day may help ease pain and inflammation.
In case conservative management does not provide relief from symptoms then surgical procedures are the only way to treat a bunion.