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Richardson Podiatry Center

What Is a Bunion and How Is it Treated?

You might have a bunion if you have an enlargement on the inside of your foot just behind the big toe. A bunion is the mild dislocation of the big toe, which forces out the bone we call the metatarsal. If you look at your foot and see that bump on the side of your foot, that’s a bunion. Now, bunions don’t always hurt; however, shoes will aggravate the bunion. Shoes don’t cause the bunion; but if you have a bunion, the bunion’s going to be irritated by the shoe, therefore, causing pain. We find that 20% of women have bunions. We also treat bunions conservatively by using orthotics which supports the foot inside the shoe so there’s not as much irritation by the shoe on the bunion site.

Bunions are caused by a combination of poor foot mechanics, the way your foot moves, the way your foot flattens out when you walk, and there’s also a genetic component. I tell my patients every day, “You don’t get to choose your parents; however, the feet that you have will change over time.” One of these changes is a formation of a bunion, and you’re not born with bunions. They form because of poor foot mechanics. Here at Richardson Podiatry Center, one conservative treatment is to use orthotics, which will give the foot more structural support, which eliminates some of the pressure off of the side of the foot.