What is a Bunion?

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is an abnormal formation of the first metatarsal bone. It occurs slowly over years and can cause pain and swelling.

Bunions are more common in women than in men. They are often a result of wearing tight shoes that irritate the ligaments in the foot. They can also occur after a joint injury or arthritis.


A bunion is 拇趾外翻 formed when the long bone that forms your big toe, called the metatarsal, moves inward toward the other toes. This abnormal alignment of the bones can cause pain and damage to the joint that connects your big toe to your foot, known as the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.

Bunions are most common in women, but they can occur in children and teens as well. They are more likely to develop in girls between the ages of 10 and 15 than in boys.

Usually, a bunion isn’t caused by any health problem or injury, but can be triggered by the way you walk or wear shoes. Tight shoes that squeeze the toes together can increase your risk of getting a bunion.

It’s important to keep the bunion pain at bay with proper footwear, exercise and other home treatments. If your symptoms become severe and are affecting your daily life, talk with your healthcare provider about surgery.


A bunion is a bone disorder that looks like a bony bump on the side of your foot. It occurs when the bones in your feet shift out of position, usually in the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.

People with bunions have difficulty walking due to the enlarged joint. They also may feel pain and have problems with their shoes.

If the bunion is not treated, it can get worse over time. Your doctor will order X-rays to diagnose the cause of your bunions and help determine the best treatment for you.

Medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can ease the symptoms of bunion pain. Ice therapy can also reduce inflammation and swelling.

Wearing well-fitting shoes that provide space for your toes can relieve pressure on the bunion. These include low heels and padded shoes.


The most common way to diagnose a bunion is through visual inspection. Your doctor will examine your foot, looking for changes in the shape of the big toe and its joint, called the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.

They’ll also look for other signs of a bunion. For example, if the bump is making it difficult to fit your shoes on, this may indicate that the bunion is affecting the way you walk.

When the bunion is more severe, your doctor may order X-rays of your foot. This can show the abnormal angle between your big toe and the rest of your foot, as well as any arthritis that might be present.

Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy, which can help strengthen your muscles and increase the range of motion in your foot and toes. This can help prevent the bunion from recurrence. If nonsurgical treatments don’t help, surgery may be needed. This can include a bunionectomy, in which your doctor removes the bump.


There are many options for the treatment of a bunion. Your doctor will discuss the best option for your particular condition and will recommend a variety of treatments to help relieve pain and reduce deformity.

Medications and foot exercises are often the first nonsurgical treatments recommended by your physician. Medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can relieve pain.

Your healthcare provider may also prescribe special shoe inserts, known as orthotics, to reposition and provide padding for the bunion. These can be purchased over-the-counter or by prescription from your doctor.

Wearing the right type of shoes and maintaining a normal weight can also help relieve pressure on the bunion. Try to avoid wearing shoes that squeeze the toes together, and look for footwear with a wide toe box and low heel.


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