bunionA bunion is a bump on the outside of the joint at the bottom of the big toe that coincides with pain and swelling in the toe and the bone that connects to the toe. A bunion forms when bone or tissue around the joint becomes enlarged from too much pressure on that area or from certain foot deformities.

Bunions occur because of pressures on the great toe joint that cause the great toe to deviate towards the smaller toes and thus the bone connected to the great toe to move away from the small toes. This is called displacement. It can lead to problems with the other toes in the foot as well.

Some causes of a bunion include having an unusual walking style, having flatfeet, or wearing tight-fitting shoes. This condition can be hereditary and, therefore, can sometimes be seen in entire families. Bunions can often cause a great deal of pain when walking or exercising and need to be treated in order to reduce pressure on the bump.

Treatment Options

Some treatment options that will be considered by physicians include using bunion pads, arch supports, change in shoe gear or shoe inserts. Inserts or orthotics can help shift your weight when you walk to take pressure off of the bunions. The injection of steroids into the joint may also be considered if pain in the bunion site does not dissipate. Imaging studies such as X-rays may be helpful to identify other problems that might be occurring along with the bunion deformity. Finally, surgery may also be considered if a patient is having continued pain with this deformity.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort due to a bunion, please contact the doctors of Southwest Austin Foot and Ankle Clinic for an appointment and further information.

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