A bunion is an enlargement of the bone affecting the big toe joint. Over time, pressure on the joint can cause a bony bump to develop beneath the skin at the big toe joint. A bunion can make wearing shoes and walking painful.

What You Need To Know About Bunion

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. Also known as a hallux abducto valgus, bunions result from years of pressure moving the bones that make up the big toe joint out of alignment. While bunions may occur at other toe joints, they are most commonly found at the big toe or metatarsophalangeal joint. Experiencing bunions on feet happens in a third of older adults and is more common in women.

Finding relief for your bunion pain starts with a visit to Resurgens Foot & Ankle Center. Schedule an appointment at one of our Metro Atlanta locations today!

What Causes Bunions?

A bunion is caused by uneven pressure distribution in the foot over a prolonged period. The big toe is normally in alignment with the other toes, but narrow or high-heeled shoes, or structural problems with the leg or foot, can exert pressure on the big toe joint that gradually moves the bones out of alignment as the big toe bends toward the second toe. The head of the bone at the base of the toe, the metatarsal, becomes enlarged, forming a bunion.

In addition to physical irritation, a family history of bunions, other foot abnormalities, or inflammatory conditions such as arthritis may contribute to the development of bunions, as can foot injuries.

Bunion Symptoms

The most common and noticeable symptom of a bunion is a bump at the base of the big toe on the outer edge of the foot. The bump may be painful, swollen, red, or calloused. Your big toe may begin to curve toward and cross the second toe. When wearing shoes, walking, or bending the big toe, you may feel bunion pain.

How is a Bunion Diagnosed?

A bunion is typically diagnosed during a physical examination of the affected foot. Your Resurgens physician will also ask you about your medical history, general health, and symptoms.

Your doctor may order an X-ray to see in detail the misalignment of the bones. This information will be useful in planning your customized bunion treatment.

Bunion Treatment

Pain management is the primary goal of bunion treatment. At Resurgens Orthopaedics, we offer both non-surgical and surgical options for treating a foot bunion:

Non-Surgical Treatment

Many patients respond positively to non-surgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, icing, the use of orthotic devices, toe spacers, or shoes with additional room in the toe box.

Non-surgical bunion treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. These treatment options may include:

  • Bunion pads or toe spacers to relieve pressure and discourage friction, or taping to improve the alignment of the toes and discourage bunion growth.

  • Choosing footwear that takes the pressure off the toes and offers plenty of room in the toe box.

  • Oral or topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or, in more severe cases, steroid injections to relieve pain and swelling

  • Over-the-counter or custom orthotic shoe inserts to provide stability and padding to the big toe

  • Physical therapy

Surgical Treatment

If non-surgical treatment is not effective, surgery to remove the bunion and bring the toe back into alignment may be necessary. The type of surgical procedure performed depends on the severity of the bunion, your age, general health, activity level, and the condition of the bones and connective tissue. These and other factors help your surgeon decide how best to correct your bunion pain.

Your Resurgens physician will discuss the benefits and risks of surgery with you and the various types of surgical procedures used to treat bunions.

Resurgens Foot & Ankle Center provides Metro Atlanta with the best bunion treatment options. Schedule an appointment to learn more about how we help people with bunion pain.

Learn more about the Foot & Ankle Center at Resurgens Orthopaedics.

Virtual After-Hours Access

Resurgens Orthopaedics has partnered with the HURT! app to offer FREE virtual after-hours access to orthopedic specialists right when you need it.

Receive immediate guidance on your injury!