What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions form when the toe moves out of place. This boney enlargement can make wearing shoegear difficult and can cause pain from constant friction or rubbing. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, which is known as Hallux Abducto Valgus. Bunions can also contribute to other toe deformities, such as hammertoes.

The big toe joint is used with every step and as the size of a bunion increase so can one’s pain. Painful calluses and arthritis are also common findings due to the malposition of the joint.

Treatment for Bunions

Because they are bone deformities, bunions do not resolve by themselves. The main goal in treating this type of foot pathology is to relieve the patient of any pain and to try and prevent any further progression of the deformity. Reduction of calluses, padding, splinting, change in shoegear, and orthotic devices are all first-line treatments. If a patient fails conservative care then surgical intervention is discussed. Bunion surgery, known as bunionectomy, may be advised to remove the bunion and realign the toe. Our Podiatric Physicians perform numerous surgical techniques to reduce the enlargement of the toe and realign the joint. One technique our physicians used to treat moderate to severe bunions is Lapiplasty.

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