Bunions

Bunions

What are Bunions?

Bunions or hallux abductovalgus, are a joint deformity where the big toe curve towards the lesser toes. People with bunions often complain of difficulty fitting into shoes due to the wide forefoot caused by bunions. Bunions are a progressive condition and cause overlapping toes to develop at their severe stages. It can affect adults and children, with the latter known as juvenile bunions.

Bunions affect the function of our big toe joint in walking, causing stress to other foot or toe joints and disrupting the pressure distribution under the foot. Commonly associated conditions caused by bunions include corns or calluses, plantar plate injury or hallux rigidus.

Causes of Bunions

Multiple factors cause bunions, and genetics strongly affect one developing this condition. However, we are not born with bunions, what we inherit are the factors that lead to the formation of bunions over time.

Causes of bunions include:

  • Joint hypermobility
  • Flat feet
  • Structural malalignment of the foot
  • Leg length differences
  • High heels or pointed-toe shoes are aggravating factors

Signs and Symptoms of Bunions

Most bunions at their early stages are asymptomatic and the condition is often neglected till symptoms arise.

Signs and symptoms of juvenile bunions include:

  • Big toe curving towards the outside of the foot
  • Redness and swelling around the big toe joint
  • Aching or burning pain around the big toe joint
  • Stiffness of the big toe joint
  • Pain after high-impact activities (e.g running, jumping)
  • Pain when wearing tight-fitting footwear

Bunions Treatment

The only solution to correct a bunion deformity is surgery. Over-the-counter products such as splints do not correct the deformity. The principle of non-surgical treatment is aimed at preventing the progression of the deformity and providing pain relief.

Treatment of bunions includes:

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