Bunion: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

A Bunion is a localized area of enlargement of the inner portion of the big toe joint (known as metatarsal phalangeal joint). Sometimes Bunion may also affect the outside portion of the foot at the base of the little toe. This kind of Bunion is sometimes referred as a tailor’s Bunion or Bunionette.

    Causes:

    • Hereditary: Some hereditary (genetic) tendency to have this joint weakness can be taken as one of the causes of Bunion.
    • Arthritis: According to foot and ankle specialists, patients of Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis are more prone to Bunion.
    • Trauma: Sprain, nerve injuries and fractures may sometimes lead to the condition.
    • Tight-fit and high-heeled shoes: It has been found that tight-fitting, high-heeled and narrow –toed shoes may increase the risk of developing Bunion.
    • Repetitive Stress: Ballet dancers are more likely to suffer from the disease as these kind of activities causes repetitive stresses to the foot resulting into Bunion.

    Symptoms:

    • Inflammation: The enlarged joint at the base of the big toe can become inflamed with redness.
    • Pain: Tenderness and pain can be felt and sometimes pain could be so severe that it can get difficult to walk.
    • Swelling: Swelling can be seen and felt at the base of the toe. The foot may become so wide that may cause difficulty in fitting into a shoe.
    • Deformation: Along with the deformation in the big toe, the second toe might get deformed too.
    • Severe Condition: In case of severe conditions, the big toe can push the smaller toe up out of place, making the condition worse.

    Treatment:

    • Footwear Recommendation: High-heeled, pointed and tight fitted shoes should be avoided. Trainers, Slippers or shoes with laces and straps are highly recommended by foot doctors.
    • Icing: Ice packs’ padding over the Bunion may help relieving the pain and swelling.
    • Medication: Anti-inflammatory medicines can be taken for the first-aid.
      • A course of antibiotics may be included in the prescription if the skin and tissues over the deformity are affected.
      • Medication may differ if the Bunion had developed as a part of arthritis.
    • Surgery: An operation may be advised in severe cases:
      • Choice of the operation depends upon the severity, shape of the foot and some other factors.

    Categories