Bunions are a progressive disorder that occurs when the big toe pushes against the next toe, forcing the joint of the big toe to get bigger and stick out. Bunions can be extremely painful and are vulnerable to excess pressure and friction from shoes that can lead to the development of calluses.

Another type of bunion which some individuals experience is called a Tailor’s Bunion, or a Bunionette. This is a much smaller bump that forms on the outside of the foot towards the joint at the little toe.

Bunions are a common problem, experienced mostly by women, that can develop from an abnormality in foot function or arthritis, but is more commonly caused by wearing improper fitting footwear. Tight, narrow dress shoes with a constrictive toe box causes the foot to begin to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion.

Women who have bunions normally wear dress shoes that are too small for their feet, causing their toes to squeeze together, which results in the first metatarsal bone to protrude on the side of the foot. Most male bunions are hereditary.

Symptoms of bunions typically include:

– A bulging bump on the outside of the big toe
– Swelling, redness, or soreness around the joint of the big toe
– Thickening of the skin at the base of the big toe
– Corns or calluses where the first and second toes overlap
– Persistent or intermittent pain
– Restricted movement of the big toe

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your bunion and the amount of pain it causes.

Conservative treatment that may relieve the pain and pressure of bunions includes:
  • Wear roomy, comfortable shoes that provide plenty of space for your toes.
  • Padding and taping or splinting to reduce stress on the bunion and alleviate your pain.
  • Medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen can help you control the pain of a bunion.
  • Padded shoe inserts can help distribute pressure evenly and prevent bunions from getting worse.
  • Applying ice to bunions can help relieve soreness and inflammation.
If conservative treatment doesn’t provide relief, surgical procedures for bunions might involve:
  • Removing the swollen tissue from around your big toe joint.
  • Straightening your big toe by removing part of the bone.
  • Realigning the bone between the back of your foot and your toe.
  • Joining the bones of your affected joint permanently.
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