A bunion, a prevalent foot deformity, draws attention to the joint at the base of the big toe, where a bony bump forms. This condition, known as hallux valgus, gradually develops when the big toe leans inward toward the second toe, causing the metatarsal bone to protrude. Bunions can result from genetic predisposition, wearing ill-fitting shoes that squeeze the toes, or conditions such as arthritis. The gradual misalignment of the toe joint leads to inflammation, pain, and, in some cases, difficulty in finding comfortable footwear. While bunions are often associated with discomfort and aesthetic concerns, they can also impact joint function over time. Understanding the overview of bunions involves recognizing the factors contributing to their development and the potential implications on foot health. If you have a bunion, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can guide you toward effective relief options.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.