Bunions are a foot abnormality in which the big toe angles toward the second toe causing the big toe joint to stick out and form a bony bump. You may also get a bunion from putting stress on your foot or from arthritis.
Most commonly, bunions affect women who wear pointed and high-heeled shoes. Over the years of wearing poorly fitting shoes, the foot bone structure changes and forms a bunion.
How to identify a bunion and recognize the symptoms
A bunion is not to be confused with a corn, which is thick, hardened skin that forms and points into the skin, often in the same spot where a bunion might develop. Sometimes, however, a bunion may form a corn, which adds to the painful experience.
A bunion is recognizable from the obvious angle of your big toe leaning in toward your second toe, but may also produce symptoms such as:
- Pain, redness or swelling
- Difficulty moving your big toe
For the most part, bunions are uncomfortable and inconvenient, but treatable.
Treating bunions before they get worse
Orthopaedics at Main Line Health offers a full range of treatment options to help people with bunions find relief. Conservative, non-surgical treatments are usually the first option to try to correct the issue. If the bunion is still causing you problems, you may need to consult with a foot and ankle surgeon. An X-ray will show the doctor how much your foot structure has changed and whether surgery is right for you.