A bunion most commonly affects the big toe joint. They develop when the big toe shifts laterally and impinges upon the second toe and rotates in a counterclockwise direction. Retrograde pressure of the big toe results in prominence of the bone along the inside of the foot. Symptoms from a bunion may include shoe pressure on the prominent bone or bump pain. Also painful calluses, hammertoes, ingrown toenails or pain in the ball of the foot may occur.
Various factors may lead to the development of bunion deformities. Poor or tight fitting shoes may contribute. Family history is frequently contributory, as well as altered bio-mechanics. The deformity does tend to progress and increase in severity with time.
Initial treatment is primarily conservative and aimed at symptomatic relief. It includes wider and good fitting shoes, anti-inflammatories, lifestyle modification or padding. Surgery may be required in a bunion deformity and is reserved for cases where the symptoms are not controlled by conservative means.