What are the signs and symptoms of bunions?

You may have a bunion if you notice any of the following:

  • a swollen, bony bump at the bottom of your big toe
  • pain, swelling or soreness of your big toe
  • rubbing on the inside of your shoe
  • the bony growth on the joint sometimes causes your big toe to turn in towards your second toe.
  • corns or calluses and red skin caused by your big toe and second toe overlapping.

What causes bunions?

The cause is not always known - there may be a deformity of the joint, called hallux valgus (hallux means big toe, valgus means bent outwards).

What treatments are available for bunions?

You can wear good supporting footwear to help relieve pain from bunions - narrow, pointed shoes are best avoided. Other options including bunion splints, pads and bunion correctors may also relieve discomfort, however these may not provide a long-term solution to your symptoms. If you're considering these options, speak to your GP for advice.

Painkillers can help, as can comfortable insoles and padding over the bunion. However, surgery is most effective if symptoms are not easing.

The operation to remove bunions is called a bunionectomy or a Keller's arthroplasty.

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Living with and getting rid of bunions

Bunions can be painful and their appearance embarrassing. Occasionally bunions can lead to more serious problems. Here's how to live with, and when to get rid of, your bunions.

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