WHAT ARE BUNIONS?

A bunion is a bony malalignment of the first and/or fifth toes. Bunions that form around the base of the fifth toe are commonly called a Tailor’s bunion. If it occurs at the base of the first toe it is called a Hallux Abducto Valgus deformity. This is where the first toe is angulated away from the midline of the body toward the other smaller toes. Bunions are not just found in older people’s feet; sometimes they begin to develop in people who are quite young!

What are the most common problems with bunions?

Symptoms associated with bunions vary from person to person.  They commonly include pain, swelling and redness. Not all bunions become painful, but certain arthritic conditions can cause severe pain.

How do these problems arise?

  1. Abnormal foot mechanics.
  2. Impaired nerve stimulation of the muscles.
  3. Inflammatory disease.
  4. Surgical removal of the big toe joint cartilage.
  5. Hereditary deformities.

How can they be treated?

  1. Strengthening.
  2. Stretching.
  3. Footwear therapy.
  4. Joint mobilization in some situations.
  5. In shoe foot orthotics.
  6. Surgery is used only when other treatment fails.

When should they be checked by a podiatrist?

Bunions are able to be treated, especially if we begin in the early stages, so you should come and see one of our Podiatrists if you are concerned that a bunion may be developing. It’s still a good idea, however, to seek treatment if you already have a bunion which is causing you pain or you have difficulty fitting into footwear.

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