What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a bony growth on your big toe. Usually it happens right at the joint, causing your big toe to become enlarged and press against your other toes.
How Does it Happen?
Bunions usually form when the joints and tendons of your feet are out of balance. This can be the result of wearing badly fitting, pointed, or high-heeled shoes, or it can stem from foot injuries, arthritis, and congenital deformities.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Most often, a bunion is easy to see. Watch for these signs.
- Swelling or redness around your big toe
- A large bump on the outside of your big toe
- Decreased movement for your big toe
- The development of calluses and corns between your big toe and second toe
- Pain that is consistent or intermittent
How is it Diagnosed
Your doctor can diagnose a bunion just by examining your foot.
How is it Treated?
Treatment for bunions depends on how severe and painful they are. If your bunion is still small and not problematic, you may be able to treat it by wearing different shoes, using over-the-counter pain relievers, taping your foot for support, or wearing shoe inserts.
However, if your bunion is well developed and painful, you may require bunionectomy. Most operations involve straightening out the big toe, removing swollen tissue around it, and realigning your toe bone.
What is the Prognosis?
In some cases, you will be able to walk soon after surgery. In other cases, you may need several weeks for a full recovery. In either case, it will be crucial that you wear proper-fitting supportive shoes. There is a chance you will still feel some pain and a new bunion could form.