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A bunion is a symptom of a progressive bone disorder. It appears as a bony bump on the joint at the base of your big toe. More common in women than men, a bunion forms when your big toe pushes against a neighboring toe. This alignment forces your big toe’s joint to enlarge and protrude.

While bunions most commonly affect the inner foot at the base of the big toe, they also can affect the outside of the foot at the base of the little toe. This is sometimes referred to as a bunionette or tailor's bunion.

Bunion Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a bunion include:

  • A bulging bump on the outside of your big toe base
  • Swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint
  • Corns or calluses often developing where the first and second toes overlap
  • Persistent or intermittent pain
  • Stiffness your big toe (especially if you suffer from arthritis)

Bunion Risk Factors

Wearing high heels or tight, narrow shoes that crowd you toes may cause bunions or make them worse. Bunions also can develop as a result of:

  • An inherited structural foot defect
  • A medical condition, such as arthritis
  • Repetitive stress on your foot

Bunion Treatment

The treatment of bunions depends on their severity. Common treatment may include rest, icing, new footwear, foot supports and/or pain medication.

While most bunions don’t require medical treatment, make an appointment with a Summa orthopedic specialist if you experience:

  • Persistent big toe or foot pain
  • A visible bump on your big toe joint
  • Decreased movement of your big toe or foot
  • Difficulty finding shoes that fit properly because of a bunion

Your doctor may recommend medications, steroid injections, and/or surgery.

Summa Foot and Ankle Specialist

Jeffrey Junko, M.D.


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.