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What is it?



A bunion is a mal-alignment condition of the great toe joint but can also affect the 5th toe joint as well. It often appears as a protruding bone at the base of the big toe joint. It is in fact a mal-angulation of the big toe joint, which if left untreated can become painful and debilitating. Often, the size or appearance of the bunion is not as important as the range of motion or function of the big toe joint. In fact, studies have shown that a degenerated or stiffened big toe joint can affect ones overall walking and has even been related to jaw pain.

The cause can be hereditary in nature, where one is predisposed to developing bunions. A foot injury, poor foot structure and function, excessive high heel use or high impact activities such as running could also contribute to development of a bunion.

Conservative treatment include, shoes modifications, prescription orthotic devices, and in severe cases surgery. The goal of the treatment is to minimize or eradicate any pain and to stabilize the big toe joint to normal function. Slowing or preventing the worsening of the bunion condition is critical in avoiding surgery.