A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the base of the big toe just under the joint. Bunions form when your big toe pushes against a neighboring toe, which forces the joint of your big toe to protrude.
Wearing tight, narrow shoes can cause bunions or make them worse. Bunions can also develop because of an inherited structural defect, stress on your foot, or a medical condition such as arthritis. A smaller bunion called a bunionette can develop near the base of your little toe, too.
Bunions have a variety of symptoms depending on the degree of the bunion and which toe it’s affecting. The skin over a bunion can be red and sore, but other symptoms can include:
Dr. Georges recommends visiting his office if you have any of the following:
Bunions develop because of the pressure of bearing and shifting your weight unevenly on the joints and tendons in your feet. This imbalance creates joint instability, eventually molding the parts of the joint into the hard knob, or bunion, that juts out beyond the normal curve of your foot.
Bunions may be associated with rheumatoid arthritis. An occupation that puts extra stress on your feet or one that requires you to wear pointed shoes can also be a cause.
Other causes include:
Many patients don’t seek treatment for bunions until they become so severe that they’re unable to wear regular tennis shoes. Seeking treatment early can actually slow or stop the worsening of your bunion and prevent the need for invasive treatment, like surgery. A podiatrist, such as Dr. Georges, should evaluate you if you suspect you have bunions.
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