Hallux valgus is the scientific name for the condition commonly referred to as a bunion. This condition occurs when the bone between the joint and the base of the big toe protrudes, often causing pain and discomfort. An additional bone may form as a result of severe inflammation the bunion can cause, in addition to developing arthritis. The area may become red, tender, and swollen, and it’s suggested that larger-sized shoes are worn to replace shoes that do not provide adequate room for the bunion. There are several reasons why bunions may develop, including a predisposed inherited gene, improper shoes that are worn, or a condition referred to as flat feet. If the bunion is mild and tolerable, there may be conservative ways to treat this ailment. For more severe bunions, surgery may be a remedy to alleviate pain associated with this condition. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for additional information consisting of proper treatment techniques.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.
- Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
- Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
- Redness and inflammation
- Pain and tenderness
- Callus or corns on the bump
- Restricted motion in the big toe
In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.
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