Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion. Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t actually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse.
- Pain or soreness around the big toe joint
- Inflammation and redness
- A burning sensation
- Possible numbness
- Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.
How is it treated?
Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, they won’t reverse the deformity itself. These include:
- Changes in shoe-wear. Wearing the right kind of shoes is very important. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and forgo those with pointed toes or high heels which may aggravate the condition.
- Padding. Pads placed over the area of the bunion can help minimize pain.
- Icing. Applying an ice pack several times a day helps reduce inflammation and pain.
- Injection therapy. Although rarely used in bunion treatment, injections of corticosteroids may be useful in treating the inflamed bursa (fluid-filled sac located around a joint) sometimes seen with bunions.
- Orthotic devices. These may reduce the deforming forces that cause the bunion.
- If conservative treatment fails, surgery is sometimes indicated.
- Our consultant Orthopaedic surgeon will be able to discuss and perform bunion surgery where appropriate.