What are they?
A bunion occurs in your big toe joint and has the appearance of a growth on the side of the toe. A bunion is caused by a genetic weakness in your foot that allows the long metatarsal bone to slowly drift out of position. The bump is a result of the head of the bone protruding out. It then rubs on your shoes and creates pain. The area may become quite swollen and tender. In severe cases, the first toe may even overlap the second toe.
What causes it?
An inherited weakness and an abnormal gait are the primary cause of a bunion. Tight shoes can also be a cause, or can simply make the problem worse.
How do I treat it?
Custom foot orthotics can assist in the early stages to slow down or stop the progression of the bunion. Wearing shoes that fit properly around your bunion is also important. Alternative treatment options include anti-inflammatory or injection therapy to decrease the inflammation.
If in the advanced stages, surgery may be required to realign the toe and help restore normal function. The metatarsal bone is surgically fractured, allowing it to be placed in a corrected position.
A bunionette (also known as Tailor’s bunion) is similar to a bunion but occurs on the outside of the foot near the small toe. Bunionettes can be caused by abnormal foot mechanics or trauma.