A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. It occurs when some of the bones in the front part of the foot move out of place. This causes the tip of the big toe to get pulled toward the smaller toes and forces the joint at the base of the big toe to stick out. The skin over the bunion might be red and sore.
Symptoms of bunions include;
- Hard lumps on the sides of the feet, by the big toes
- The big toe pointing towards the other toes
- Hard, red or swollen skin over the lump
- Pain and soreness
- Inflammation and redness
- A burning sensation
- Possible numbness
Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on the feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.
The exact cause of bunions is unknown, but they tend to run in families. It’s also thought that bunions are more likely to occur in people with unusually flexible joints, which is why bunions sometimes occur in children.
Several treatment options for bunions are available. Non-surgical treatments are usually tried first, including painkillers, orthotics (insoles) and bunions pads.
However, these can only help to reduce the symptoms of bunions, such as pain. They don’t improve the appearance of the foot.
Surgery may be considered if the symptoms are severe and don’t respond to no-surgical treatments. They type of surgery will depend on the level of deformity, the severity of the symptoms, the age of the patient, and any other associated medical conditions.
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