A bunion is a bone deformity that develops when the big toe moves out of place towards the smaller toes. Unfortunately, it’s an often uncomfortable and painful condition. It is characterized by the enlargement of the metatarsophalangeal joint, or joint at the base and side of the big toe. The enlargement and protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear, often causing foot pain and discomfort.
There are two common bunion conditions. When the big toe angles in toward the smaller toes and overlaps a third toe, it’s known as hallux valgus. When the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, it’s known as hallus abducto valgus. Both require treatment to prevent discomfort, pain, and progression.
It’s estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries. This is a significant percentage of the population, so it’s important to understand the causes of bunions and bunion treatments to prevent them from progressing into further toe deformities, like hammertoe.