What is a bunion?
A bunion is a bump made up of bone and soft tissue that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. When the big toe pushes against the next toe, the joint of the big toe gets bigger, sticks out, and the skin over the bump or bunion may be red and very sore.
The most common cause for a bunion is the continued wearing of shoes that don’t fit correctly, such as shoes with a narrow, pointed toe box that squeeze the toes into unnatural positions and shoes that are too small. Bunions can also be caused by an inherited structural defect in the feet, injuries, stress on the foot, or sometimes by arthritis.
- The symptoms of a bunion can include the following:
- A bump that bulges on the outside of the base of the big toe
- Swelling, redness and or soreness around the big toe joint
- Corns or calluses where the big toe overlaps the second toe
- Restricted and painful movement of the big toe
- Skin thickening at the base of the big toe
Some things you can do to prevent bunions from forming or progressing include the following:
- Avoid shoes with very high heels and/or with narrow or pointed toe boxes that compress the toes
- Select shoes that conform as close as possible to the shape of your foot
- Check that there is adequate space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe
- Have both feet measured regularly – most people have one foot larger than the other; fit to the larger foot
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