Condition spotlight

Bunions

A bunion, or hallux abducto valgus, is a bulge that appears on the inside of the forefoot at the base of the big toe. As the big toe deviates towards the lesser toes (outwards) and the first metatarsal bone deviates medially (inwards). It is generally a progressive condition meaning that it becomes worse over time and may eventually cause the other toes to overlap one another. In its early stages the condition is relatively painless but as the deformity worsens pain is likely to occur.

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bunion-diagram
Group 3 Created with Sketch.

Frequently asked questions about Bunions

Did I get my bunion from my parents?

A family history increases the risk of developing a bunion however it is important to recognise that there are other factors at play.  Biomechanical factors such as increased force through the big toe joint, flat feet, poor footwear choices, traumatic injury and certain activities such as ballet dancing may contribute to the severity of a bunion. 

Did wearing high heels give me bunions?

Research into identical twins and bunions has suggested that regularly wearing footwear with a constrictive toe-box (tight fitting) was a significant contributing factor to the development of bunions.

Can bunions affect the rest of my feet?

The deviation of the big toe may not only cause pain in this joint but can also affect the alignment of the rest of the foot. It can cause compensatory symptoms within the plantar fascia and other soft tissue structures. Bunions may also cause a number of issues with the lesser toes as they become more cramped for space. This can result in the development of hammer toes, clawed toes, painful corns and callus as well as toes overriding one another.

how bunions happen

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