The big toe of the foot is called the Hallux. When the Hallux begins to deviate inward in the direction of the baby toe, this condition is called “Hallux Valgus”. As the toe moves more in this direction, a bony prominence starts to develop on the outside of the big toe, over the metatarsal bone. This is called a Bunion.
Tight-fitting footwear like high-heels and narrow-toed shoes can often increase the risk of bunion formation. Excessive pronating or rolling inwards of the ankles may also be factors causing bunions.
Symptoms can start with pain at the joint at the base of the big toe when wearing certain shoes. This can be accompanied by redness, tenderness or swelling and eventually the big toe begins to change shape, curving inwards and restricting joint motion.
Treatment depends on the degree of deformity. The only way to actually remove a bunion is through surgery. However, there are other non-invasive methods to correcting, managing, and preventing bunions:
To help prevent bunion formation, avoid poor-fitting shoes with narrow toe boxes; ensure your shoes are not too tight and allow for wiggle room in the toes. Wearing custom orthotics will also improve alignment and provide pressure distribution – wearing a forefoot rocker will also reduce pressure on the forefoot.
If the bunion:
Doctors will typically base their diagnosis on symptoms and findings from special tests. X-rays are often taken to determine the integrity of the joints in the foot and to test for arthritis.
For further reading about this condition, see more from Kintec: