Bunions (Hallux Valgus)
A bunion is a bony bump at the base of the big toe where it meets the foot. This changes the alignment of the bones, causing the base of the big toe to angle. Bunions can often be painful and cause swelling, making it difficult to find comfortable shoes.
When a bunion causes discomfort, it is usually because the bump is squeezed by a shoe.
The pain can also be in the ball of the foot or in the other toes. The best treatment is to wear well-fitted shoes. Wide shoes with soft leather or synthetic materials that accommodate the bump and don’t cause pressure on the sore spots provide relief. High-heeled shoes often make the symptoms worse. Strapping, taping, or splinting the big toe may help relieve symptoms in the short-term. When bunions remain painful despite appropriate shoe wear, surgical correction may be necessary. During surgery, the deformed joint is corrected by breaking and resetting the bone in a straighter position.