People often refer to bunions as a bony prominence at the base of the big toe. This is often enlarged and can be painful. In a medical sense the name for a bunion is hallux abducto-valgus. This actually refers to the deviation of the big toe away from the central line of the body.
The combination of the deviation and thickening at the base of the toe can lead to difficulties when looking for footwear. The thickening at the base of the toe will lead to increase pressure from shoes which can lead to corns and callus. The deviation of the big toe can lead to the lesser toes becoming compressed and will often lead to the second toe becoming elevated leading to corns and callus.
Patients often experience soreness around the thickened knuckle of the big toe due to the increase thickness leading to rubbing on footwear. This will then potentially lead to blisters, callus and corns. Other common complaints are where the 2nd toe is often pushed up inside the shoe leading to rubbing with in the toe box. Due to the deviation of the big toe this can also lead to pain and discomfort within the joint itself.
Genetics – Genetic traits that lead to bunion formation are often passed down from one generation to the next.
Footwear – Shoes don’t necessarily cause bunions but can certainly lead to aggravation of the skin around the bunion and the joint itself. Well fitted footwear is a sensible way to reduce excessive stresses around the big toe.
Arthritis – Osteoarthritis in the big toe joint can lead to a thickening of the joint. This will often lead to discomfort within the joint.
Foot function – certain foot types can lead to increased loading through the big toe. This can increase the chance of OA in the joint and potentially lead to development of a bunion
Bunion Gels, bunion splints, creams, silicon toe separators etc.