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Bunion

A bunion, also referred to as hallux valgus, is described as a “bump” on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bump forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint to move out of place. The big toe leans toward the second toe instead of being straight.

Bunions are progressive, the “bump” will become increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, although some people will never have symptoms. These symptoms include: pain, inflammation, redness, swelling, burning sensation, numbness, restricticted or painful motion of the big toe, and hammertoes or calluses under the ball of the foot. 

Home treatment options can include: commercial non-medicated bunion pads, spacer between the big toe and second, shoes with a wide and deep toe box, icing, and avoiding high-heeled shoes over two inches. The presence of a bunion is typically quite clear. After an exam, your foot and ankle specialist will take xrays to evaluate the degree of the deformity and assess changes that have occured. Treatment options may include: changes in shoewear, padding, activity modification, medication, icing, injections, orthotic devices or surgical options. A variety of surgical procedures are available to treat bunions with the goal of reducing pain and deformity.

To learn more about foot and ankle conditions, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org

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