Medically called bunion hallux valgus, it is a painful bony bump that develops on the joint at the base of
the big toe. This happens when the front part of the foot bone gets displaced due to which the tip of the big toe gets pulled towards the smaller toes forcing the joint at the base of the big toe to bulge. The skin also of that part might become red and sore.

Bunions are progressive disorders; the visible bony bump just reflects the changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. Anyone can get a bunion but it is more common in women probably due to wearing tight narrow shoes that squeeze the toes together for a long time.

People in the occupations such as teaching and nursing which involves a lot of standing and walking are
prone to bunions. Ballet dancers, whose feet suffer severe repetitive stress, pregnant women because of the hormonal changes and arthritis patients are too susceptible to bunions.

CAUSES
A bunion is caused mostly due to displacement of bone in the toe’s front part. The big toe leans towards the second toe rather than pointing straight ahead, as a result, the bones are out of alignment producing bunions bump.

Some conditions that contribute to the development of big toe include flat feet, excessively flexible ligaments and abnormal bone structure. Tight or narrow shaped shoes forcing the toes together causes bunions. Standing for long periods of time or walking continuously with pressurized toes too cause big toe.

The inflammatory condition and rheumatoid arthritis can make a person more likely to develop bunions. The tendency to develop it might be the result of an inherited problem with the structure or anatomy of the foot.

SYMPTOMS
Bunions form progressively overtime mostly over the years. They are more annoying than painful. While some people have bunions with no symptoms at all, some people develop uncomfortable symptoms which make the treatment necessary.

If the bunion is an issue for more than just aesthetic reasons, it is very important to seek treatment from a podiatrist. The most common symptom associated with bunions is the pain in the foot. The big toe will point in the direction of the smallest toe.
Sometimes hardened skin or a callus covers the bump. There is often swelling, redness and an unusual tenderness. Some patients even feel a burning sensation at the bunion site. They tend to get worse with the time unless they are treated by a doctor.
DIAGNOSIS

A bunion can be easily identified by the examination of the foot, during the physical exam the doctor may ask to move the toe back and forth to check the limit of the movement. If he suspects any deep injury or deformity then after physical examination an X-ray will be recommended to check the severity and intensity of the injury for further treatment suggestions.

TYPES OF BUNIONS

By observing the various symptoms and the severity of a bunion it can be differentiated into the
following types.
1. Large Bunion: As per the name depending upon the size of bunion it is when the bony bump is
large. If someone has a large bunion there could be difficulty in finding or purchasing suitable
footwear too. The symptoms too are much severe than those who have small bunions.
2. Tailor’s Bunion: It develops on the pinky side of the big toe and it is often called a bunionette. A
protrusion can develop in the affected area and cause the pinky toe to change the direction.
3. Bunion with Hallux limitus: A hallux limitus bunion limits flexibility in the foot especially at the
big toe joint due to which further jamming of toe takes place resulting to form a bunion instead
of on the side, at the top of the big toe’s base joint.
4. Bunion with Skin irritation: This is the most common one in people who have a bunion and wear
closed or tight shoes. The tightness of the shoe and the protrusion at the big toe can cause
friction and irritation of the skin. This leads to redness and peeling skin along with wounds. For
its prevention, it is necessary to clean and moisturize the feet and take care of any skin issues to
stop the development of a serious wound or infection.
TREATMENT
Bunions can be treated mostly without surgery. But taking simple measures like maintaining a balanced
weight, using shoe inserts to place the foot correctly, wear footwear wide in the toe area can prove
very beneficial. If the big toe is too painful the recommendations of a body at rest will be surely needed.
The surgery is required only when the pain in the bony bump verses for more than a year. A surgeon
puts bone ligaments and nerves back into correct order to remove the bump.