Bunions refer to a prominence of bone on the inside margin of the forefoot. It involves a displacement of the 1st metatarsal bone towards the midline of the body, coupled with a displacement of the great toe away from the bodyline of the body. There are different stages of the deformity depending on the level of severity. Arthritis can also develop producing pain within the joint.
- Women are more prone to bunions than men.
- Wearing tight, narrow or high-heeled shoes can greatly accelerate the formation of a bunion.
- Middle aged to older people are more likely to suffer from bunions, although bunions can also affect children and young people.
- Inflammation, pain around the big toe.
- Redness, discomfort when wearing shoes.
- Calluses and / or corns on the outside of the big toe, between the big toe and the second toe or under the ball of the foot.
- Over-lapping toes.
- Poor foot function (biomechanics).
- Family history of bunions.
- Poor or tight footwear.
- Arthritic conditions.
- Trauma or previous surgery around the big toe.
Treatment varies depending on the severity of pain and deformity. Treatment may include:
- Padding to protect the bony prominence from shoe irritation.
- Wearing correctly fitting footwear.
- Callus and corn management through conservative podiatric treatment.
- Medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone injections to ease pain and inflammation.
- Correction of poor foot biomechanics through orthotics (custom-made shoe inserts). These re-align to foot and assist in stabilising the joint. This treatment can be very effective in halting or slowing bunion development.