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Bunions are a symptom of a progressive bone disorder. They appear as a bony bump at the base of the big toe joint.

The technical term for bunions is hallux valgus. They develop because of a structural problem in the bone of the foot and toes, usually the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. As a result of this, the feet no longer line up properly.

Bunion usually affects the bone of the big toe, which inclines toward the second toe instead of straight ahead.

The big toe pushes against the neighboring toe. This causes the joint to stick out.

The symptoms of bunions often occur in adults, but adolescents might also experience them.

They might occur because of an inherent problem with the bones of the foot. Some people have hallus valgus but never develop symptoms. Shoes that crowd the toes can increase the risk of symptoms, but they do not cause bunions directly.

Bunions near the base of the little toe instead of the big toe. These are known as bunionettes or "tailor's bunion."

In this article, we look at the causes and symptoms of bunions, as well as potential treatments.

A bunion is examined by a doctor.
Bunions are bony bumps that often form at the base of the big toe.

Many medical scientists believe people that causes bunions to develop.

Other factors add to the risk of bunion growth, including.

If the feet do not develop properly before birth, this can also increase the risk.

Some people suggest that high-heeled or narrow shoes promote the growth of bunions. They might or cause bunions to develop in people with a genetic risk of the condition, but they do not cause bunion growth directly.

A 2014 systematic review suggests that around of children under the age of 10 years have this condition and almost half of all adults.

Adolescent bunions are most likely to occur in girls between the ages of . This tendency usually runs in families.

A younger person with bunion is usually able to move their toe up and down. In adults, a bunion is more likely to restrict movement.

The classic symptom of a bunion is a bump that forms at the base of the big toe. These can also form at the base of the little toe. When this occurs, a doctor will diagnose bunionette or "tailor's bunion".

Other symptoms of bunions may :

Wearing narrow shoes and high heels or standing for a long time may worsen the symptoms.

Bunions begin as small lumps. They get worse over time, however, causing pain and making walking difficult.


Bunions can lead to other conditions, including:

  • bursitis, or swelling of the fluid-filled pads responsible for cushioning the bones, tendons, and muscles
  • hammertoe, where abnormal joint bending leads to pain and pressure
  • metatarsalgia, or swelling and pain in the ball of the foot
  • calluses
  • pain
  • difficulty walking
  • decreased mobility in the toes
  • arthritis

Avoiding shoes that cramp the feet is one way to prevent the developing of some of these complications.