A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions form when the toe moves out of place and the overlying tissue becomes red and inflamed. The enlargement and its protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear.
Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes, sometimes overlapping a third toe (known as Hallux Valgus). The growing enlargement or protuberance then causes more irritation or inflammation. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, which is known as Hallux Abducto Valgus. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.
Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the enlargement against shoes. The skin over the toe becomes red and tender.
Because this joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may set in, the skin on the bottom of the foot may become thicker, and everyday walking may become difficult—all contributing to chronic pain.
The treatment of bunions depends on how early in the process you seek help. The earlier you seek attention the more likely you are to prevent serious deformity and permanent arthritic damage.
A long held theory is that bunions are caused by tight fitting or pointy shoes, while poor footwear will certainly speed up the development of bunions it is only one of many factors contributing to the development of bunions.
Your podiatrist at Frankston Podiatry deals with the issues surrounding bunions on a daily basis, they are experienced in understanding your situation and designing a treatment program for you.