A Look at the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options for Bunions

Bunions are one of the most common complaints orthopaedic specialists hear from their female patients. Up to 50 percent of women have bunions, and nine out of ten bunion cases involve a female patient. A bunion occurs when the metatarsophalangeal joint becomes enlarged and sticks out on the side of the foot. At best, bunions can be a cosmetic issue, but they can also cause long-term foot pain and walking difficulties. What do you need to know about bunions? Take a look at the basic facts about these foot protrusions:

human foot


What Causes Bunions?

Some cases of bunions are hereditary, but in other cases, shoes are the culprits. Squeezing your feet into tight shoes puts excess pressure on the area where your big toe meets your first metatarsal. This pressure can cause damage to the joint and the surrounding soft tissue. The first toe will begin to lean inwards towards the second toe and the joint itself will stick out on the side of your foot below your big toe. That bony protrusion is a bunion. The bursa that protects the joint may also become inflamed and cause even more swelling, especially if you don’t seek treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of Bunions?

The swelling on the side of your foot may be your first indication that you have a bunion. In some cases, bunions can cause tenderness and pain that makes walking and wearing shoes uncomfortable. In advanced cases, foot disfigurement can become severe and ankle pain may also occur.

How Are Bunions Treated?

If you have a bunion, it is important to choose your shoes wisely. Make sure your shoes fit well and don’t squeeze your feet. It may also help if you wear a cushion over the bunion to protect it from rubbing against your shoe. When bunions cause pain, a bunionectomy can help. An orthopaedic surgeon will remove part of the bunion and realign your foot joint to relieve the pain.

Bunions are just one thing the orthopaedic surgeons at Suburban Orthopaedics can help you beat. Let our doctors help you with pain management, physical therapy, and surgical treatments.