A bunion is when your big toe points toward the second toe. This causes a bump on the outside edge of your toe. Its medical name is just as sore as what it is…Hallux valgus.
Bunions occur more commonly in women and can sometimes run in families. People born with abnormal bones in their feet are more likely to form a bunion. Wearing narrow-toed, high-heeled shoes may lead to the development of a bunion. Ladies, there is a price to pay for those “to-die-for” shoes sometimes! The condition may become painful as extra bone and a fluid-filled sac grow at the base of the big toe. The enlargement actually represents additional bone formation, often in combination with a misalignment of the big toe. The misalignment causes the big toe to move outward. The normal position of the big toe (straight forward) becomes outward-directed toward the smaller toes. The enlarged joint at the base of the big toe can become inflamed with redness, tenderness, and pain.
- Red, calloused skin along the inside edge of the big toe
- A bony bump at this site
- Pain over the joint, aggravated by pressure from shoes
- Big toe turned toward the other toes
When a bunion first begins to develop, take good care of your feet and wear wide-toed shoes. This can often solve the problem and prevent the need for any further treatment. It may help to wear felt or foam pads on the foot to protect the bunion, or spacers to separate the first and second toes at night. You can also try cutting a hole in a pair of old, comfortable shoes to wear around the house. Anti-inflammation medications can help to ease inflammation as well as pain. Local cold-pack application is sometimes helpful as well. Inflammation of the joint at the base of the big toe can often be relieved by a local injection of cortisone.
If the bunion gets worse, resulting in severe deformity or pain, surgery to realign the toe and remove the bony bump (bunionectomy) can be effective. There are over 100 different surgical techniques that have been described to treat this condition.
Let us know if you have it and what you do? It may help someone out there.