Bunions, also called hallux valgus, are a bony bump on the side of the big toe. They are caused by the hallux (the big toe) leaning towards the second toe instead of pointing straight ahead. This leaning throws the bones out of alignment and produces the bunion’s “bump”. It is a progressive disorder with symptoms usually appearing at later stages – although some people never experience the symptoms!
The main symptoms are pain and redness at the site of the bunion, with burning sensation and numbness possible. Wearing wider shoes can give the bunion more room and reduce pain. Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t cause the bunions, it can make the deformity worse and cause symptoms to appear sooner. They are caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is the foot type that is inherited that makes a person prone to developing a bunion.
Because bunions are progressive, they won’t just go away. Sometimes oral anti-inflammatories, icing, and/or a steroid injection may help. Custom orthotics can help slow the progression of the bunion by reducing flexibility in overly-limber feet. In some cases, surgery is needed if other non-surgical options are not relieving the ache. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Mendoza to determine the best course of action for you to reduce your bunion pain!