What’s a bunion?

A bunion is a bony lump that develops on the side of your foot at your big toe joint: the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. As a preliminary sign, your big toe starts to lean toward your other toes, putting pressure on your joints and causing inflammation. Over time, a bony growth develops to protect the joint.

The main sign of a bunion is the lump that forms on the side of your foot. It’s often red, and your skin may look shiny. You may also develop calluses or corns on the side of your foot and big toe that rub against the inside of your shoe. You can also develop calluses on the parts of your big and first toe that rub together.

Bunions cause foot pain and can eventually disrupt your gait--the way your foot moves when you step--causing pain in your ankles, knees, hips, and back.

What causes bunions?

Bunions develop when your big toe leans toward your other toes, putting pressure on the joint. Misalignment in the bones of your feet and hereditary foot structure issues can cause the big toe to lean toward your other toes.

Wearing shoes that are too tight around your toes or that put a lot of pressure on the ball of your foot and your toes, like high heels, can push your toes out of alignment and make your bunion worse.

How are bunions treated?

Dr. Mbanuzue offers bunion treatments customized to address your specific condition. If your bunion isn’t too advanced, she may suggest you change your footwear to comfortable, supportive shoes with plenty of room in the toe box. She may also advise you to wear orthotics in your shoes or a splint-like device that holds your big toe in the correct position.

In advanced cases, when bunion pain inhibits walking and daily activities, you may need surgery to correct the alignment of your big toe and remove excess bone tissue from your MTP joint. In some cases, Dr. Mbanuzue secures your big toe with a metal pin.

Dr. Mbanuzue is an experienced podiatric surgeon who always discusses your treatment options and answers all your questions. If you’re concerned about a bunion or living with foot pain, call or make an appointment online today.