A bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of the bone or tissue around a joint at the base of the big toe or at the base of the little toe (in which case it is called a "bunionette" or "tailor's bunion"). Bunions often occur when the joint is stressed over a prolonged period.
They are nine times more common in women than in men, primarily because women may be more likely to wear tight, pointed, and confining shoes. Bunions may be inherited as a family trait. Bunions may also result from arthritis, which often affects the big toe joint.
Reasons to undergo bunion surgery may include severe foot pain that occurs even when walking or wearing flat, comfortable shoes. Surgery may also be indicated when chronic big toe inflammation and swelling does not subside with rest or medications.
Other reasons for surgery include toe deformity, a drifting in of the big toe toward the small toe, and an inability to bend and straighten the big toe.
Initial treatment of bunions may include wearing comfortable, well-fitting footwear (particularly shoes that conform to the shape of the foot and do not cause pressure areas) or the use of splints and orthotics (special shoe inserts shaped to your feet) to reposition the big toe. For bunions caused by arthritis, medications may help reduce pain and swelling.
If non-surgical treatment fails, your physician may suggest surgery, which resolves the problem in nearly all persons. The goal of surgery is to relieve pain and correct as much deformity as possible. The surgery is not cosmetic and is not meant to improve the appearance of the foot.
Physical Therapy is a critical part of complete recovery. Our doctors recommend DMC's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, with 30 convenient locations across southeastern Michigan. To find one near you, click here.
Expert Ankle Physicians
Non-Operative Sports Medicine Specialists
Britta Anderson, DO (Offices in Warren, Detroit, Plymouth & Farmington Hills)
Tariq Awan, DO (Offices in Detroit, Warren, Farmington Hills & Dearborn)
Sadiq Haque, DO (Offices in Detroit, Novi, Warren, Farmington Hills & Dearborn)
Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Surgeons