Brief Outline of Bunions
Tight-fitting or ill-fitting shoes can lead to swelling and enlarging of the joint at the base of the big toe, known as a bunion. Injury to the big toe or abnormal stress on the outside of the toe can also lead to bunions. Women are likely to get bunions than men, due to the tendency of females to wear tighter fitting shoes. A bunion-like condition may develop on the lateral (small toe) aspect of the foot called a bunionette.
Anatomy and Physiology for Bunions
Bunions are typically found on the medical aspect of the metatarsophalangeal joint, which connects the toe and foot. When tight-fitting shoes, an injury, or other condition causes pressure on the toe (forcing it inward), the joint becomes inflamed and enlarged. There is inflammation of the bursa overlying the medical aspect of the first metatarsal head. This causes the toe to move laterally toward the second toe, sometimes even sliding under it, forming the hallux valgus deformity. A painful bump develops on the outside of the toe joint, which leads to additional pain and inflammation.
Cause of Injury for Bunions
Tight-fitting shoes. Untreated injury to the big toe. Unusual pressure to the outside of the first toe. Pronation of the foot.
Signs and Symptoms of Bunions
Bump at base of the big toe. The first toe may move laterally toward the second toe. Redness and tenderness in the affected area. Pain with walking.
Complications if Left The Bunion Unattended
Bunions left unattended may lead to further complications such as bursitis, difficulty walking, arthritis, and chronic pain. The first toe may angle toward the second toe causing the second toe to move out of alignment.
Immediate Treatment for Bunions
Anti-inflammatory medication or injection.
Long-term Prognosis for Bunions
Bunions respond to treatment quite well. In cases where the bunion has advanced or it does not respond to treatment, surgery may be needed to correct the condition.