A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a misaligned or excess bone within the joint of the big toe. This is a common, yet very uncomfortable and painful issue, because your big toe is the most often used toe; every time your foot takes a step, the big toe supports most of your body’s weight. Because of this very important weight bearing function during movement, any problems can make walking or even standing very painful. In addition to causing pain, a bunion alters the shape of your foot, making it difficult to find shoes that fit comfortably. Luckily, bunions are treatable, and Dr. Young is one of the most experienced podiatrists in the region when it comes to bunion treatment.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions, which occur on the biggest (and occasionally, smallest) toe, can be caused by several different factors relating to mechanics. A bunion may form if the foot flattens too much and the toe joint regularly moves beyond normal range, or if the toe joint is injured by arthritis or injury. Although not genetic, some people are born with the tendency to develop bunions.
How Can I Prevent Bunions?
Wear properly fitting shoes to reduce the chances of developing a bunion, and immediately stop wearing any shoes that cause discomfort after periods of wear. Talk to a podiatrist like Dr. Lawrence Young to find out if you’re at risk for developing a bunion, and to help you recognize shoes that match your foot size and shape. Michigan residents can use the contact form below.
Types of Bunions
- -Positional (mild) bunions are caused by the growth of new bone in the joint.
- -Structural (severe) bunions happen when the joint in the base of the toe changes position.
Bunions can exhibit signs of both types, and can be identified by a bony lump, typically near the base of the big toe where the joint is located.