What Are Bunions?

By Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC/Ringwood/Flushing
September 05, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions

A bunion is a bony growth that grows on the joint of the big toe, causing the toe to bend inwards and push into the other toes. This type of bump can also occur in a smaller version on the pinky toe which is probably why it is called a bunionette. Bunions and bunionettes are the results of structural imbalances involving the tendons and ligaments that connect to the toes and help them to move.

Some of the signs that you are developing a bunion include:

  • Bony bump—You will notice a bony protrusion growing on the side or top of the big toe joint.
  • Toe bending—Because of the structural abnormalities affecting the joint, your big toe will bend towards your other toes. This will get progressively more pronounced if not treated.
  • Skin discoloration—The skin covering the bony bump will appear much redder or darker than the surrounding skin.
  • Calluses and cornsThe thickened skin of a callus or corn may develop in response to the friction caused by over and underlapping toes

Treatment options for bunions include the following:

  • Properly-fitting shoes with a wide toe box
  • Custom orthotic inserts, toe splints, or braces to redistribute pressure
  • Strength and flexibility exercises
  • Surgical reduction of the bunion and toe realignment

Since the ligaments, tendons, and other tissues in the toe will become more stressed over time as the bunion grows, is very important to have the condition treated as early as possible to avoid painful nerve conditions like metatarsalgia. Arthritis and bursitis may also become more pronounced in a toe affected by a bunion.

If you suspect that you are developing a bunion, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!

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