A bunion (medically termed Hallux valgus) is a bony bump that is noticed on the side of the foot where the big toe joins to the foot. It may first be noticed as a small bump, but over time becomes more prominent. Some may even notice the big toe deviating towards the smaller toes, and in late stages the big toe can overlap or underlap the second toe. This can also start to cause calluses or deformations of the second toe.
Some people may have had the bump for years before it becomes painful. Bunions can affect one or both feet, and they can affect children as well as adults. They may become more painful in certain shoes that are tighter fitting in the toes, or shoes made of firm materials like leather.
The bunion is caused by misalignment of the metatarsophalangeal joint, the joint where the big toe connects to the foot. We can perform an xray to determine the amount of misalignment, and along with a lower extremity exam, determine the potential cause and how to treat your condition.
Some bunions may be treated conservatively, but ultimately surgery may be required to reduce pain and realign the toe with the foot. There are several possible types of procedures for bunion correction which require either cutting a bone or fusing a joint. The correct procedure is determined based on exam and x-ray findings.