Bunions: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, Diagnosis & Treatment

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. A bunion forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe.


A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the bottom of your big toe. A bunion forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your toe to induce bigger and stick out. The skin over the bunion can be red and sore.

Wearing tight, slender shoes may cause bunions or may create them worse. Bunions can also develop as a results of an genetic structural defect, stress on your foot or a medical condition, like arthritis.

Smaller bunions (bunionettes) can also develop on the joint of your little toes.

What are the causes of Bunions?

While the precise cause isn’t notable, there appear to be hereditary (genetic) factors that result in abnormal foot function, like overpronation that may predispose to the development of bunions. this is particularly common once bunions occur in younger individuals. Abnormal biomechanics will result in instability of the metatarsal phalangeal joint and muscle imbalance leading to the deformity.

Although shoe gear does not directly cause a bunion, it will actually create the bunion painful and swollen. Diffferent less common causes of bunion deformities include trauma (sprains, fractures, and nerve injuries), neuromuscular disorders (polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), and limb-length discrepancies (one leg shorter than the other) where the longer leg develops the bunion. The longer limb can tend to cause the foot to overpronate.

Symptoms of Bunions?

  • Pain. you will then have problem walking due to pain.
  • Inflammation and swelling at the bottom of the toe. This typically becomes infected.
  • The foot might become so wide that it are often difficult to search out wide enough shoes.
  • You may get arthritis within the big toe.
  • The second toe will become deformed.
  • In severe cases, the large toe will push your second toe up out of place.

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

In most cases, a doctor will diagnose a bunion through visible examination since several of the signs are externally present. During a physical exam, your doctor might ask you to move your toe back and forth to examine for limited movement. Your doctor can order an X-ray if they think an injury or deformity. An X-ray will detail the severity of the bunion and pinpoint its cause. A blood test may also be necessary to rule out arthritis as a cause.

Complications of Bunions

Bunion surgery will sometimes cause more problems, as will leaving bunions untreated.

Untreated bunions

Many bunions can never cause issues, however some might get worse if left untreated, therefore it’s worth seeing your GP if you’ve got one.

Untreated bunions will result in more issues, like arthritis within the joint of the big toe. the big toe may cause deformity of the second toe, by pushing it out of place.

Surgical complications

In less than 100% of cases, complications occur once bunion surgery. These can depend on the type of surgery you have and might include:

  • infection
  • deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • stiffness in your toe joints
  • a delay or failure of the bone to heal, or the bone healing within the wrong position
  • pain below the ball of your foot
  • damage to the nerves in your foot
  • prolonged swelling and continued pain
  • the need for more surgery
  • thickened scar tissue
  • the bunion returning
  • complex regional pain syndrome a condition that causes long-term burning pain in one of the limbs

How are Bunions Treated?

There are surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for your bunion.

Nonsurgical options

  • wearing shoes that contain padded soles and include adequate flexibility for your toes
  • having your physician pad or tape your foot into a normal position, that reduces pressure on the bunion
  • taking over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen
  • wearing over-the-counter arch supports in your shoes


Surgery can be necessary if nonsurgical choices don’t help you. several surgical procedures are used to treat bunions. Your doctor can recommend the most effective procedure for your situation. However, most surgeries to correct bunions include a bunionectomy.

A bunionectomy involves:

  • correcting the position of the large toe by removing some of the bone
  • removing swollen tissue from the affected joint

Full recovery from a bunionectomy will take up to eight weeks. In most cases, you’ll be able to walk on your foot straightaway following the procedure.

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  • My sister has bunions! I have asked her about the surgery, but she says she doesn’t think one exists. I don’t think she has been anywhere to have them checked out. I think I will take her in next week.