A bunion is a protrusion from the metatarsophalangeal joint, the base joint of your big toe. Bunions develop when the metatarsophalangeal joint grows enlarged and gravitates inwards. This can put pressure on your other toes. Sometimes, your big toe can even overlap the next toe. You can also get a bunionette on your pinkie toe.
Because the affected joint is so important for proper body weight distribution, a bunion can make walking, standing, and even wearing most shoes pretty difficult.
Since you inherit your foot type from your parents, you may also inherit the kind of poor foot mechanics that can cause bunions. Bunions can develop in anyone who regularly moves, pressures, or stresses their metatarsophalangeal joint in an abnormal way.
Some of the telltale signs of bunions include:
In most cases, bunion symptoms are at their worst when you’re wearing shoes that compress your toes. High heels or pointed-toe shoes are well-known culprits for bunion aggravation.
After your specialists podiatrist diagnoses your bunion, they’ll create an effective treatment plan. Sometimes, you don’t need treatment if a bunion isn’t causing serious problems. In this case, your podiatrist may recommend observation, including periodic evaluation including X-ray imaging.
If you’re having pain or other symptoms, your podiatrist can recommend the following changes to minimize your pain.
The bunion remedies above, while often effective, don’t actually remove the bunion. If noninvasive remedies don’t help, you may need surgery for bunion pain. Your podiatrist can surgically remove the bony bump and correct any other damage caused by your bunion.
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