What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bony bulge or bump on the outside of the base of the big toe joint. When a bunion is present, the big toe will usually angle in toward the second toe and there is often bursitis at the base of the big toe. This condition is also sometimes called hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus (HAV).

Bunions are a common cause of pain in the big toe joint. Other symptoms of bunions include skin irritation, redness, and the formation of blisters around the site of the bunion.

In addition to orthotics, well-fitting footwear is essential to reduce irritation and your podiatrist will be able to provide advice on footwear to meet your needs. Entire Podiatry stock a range of footwear that is suitable for people who have bunions, such as shoes with stretch to accommodate the area of the bunion.

Ice may be used for temporary pain relief and to relieve symptoms of bursitis. Foot strengthening exercises may also be prescribed as part of your bunion treatment regime.

Bunions

There are three stages of bunion development. Without effective treatment, bunions will progress on to the next stage.

  • Primary stage: A primary stage bunion presents as a slight bump. This stage of bunion presentation is usually seen in adolescents and young adults.
  • Secondary stage: As the foot continues to roll inward, repeated force is placed on the big toe joint. In the secondary stage, the bunion will be more pronounced and there is angling of the big toe in toward the second toe.
  • Tertiary stage: Once a bunion has reached the tertiary stage of development, there is usually an overlapping of the big toe above or below the second toe. At this stage bunions can be very painful and it is very difficult to find shoes that comfortably accommodate the bunion deformity.

Bunionette

A bunionette is a bunion deformity that affects the outside of the foot. This causes the foot to appear wider as a bony prominence develops at the outside of the foot at the base of the little toe. The little toe also deviates towards the fourth toe. This can cause pain, especially from rubbing in shoes and corns and callus may develop. Most people respond well to changing their footwear to reduce pressure and rubbing on the bunionette.

What causes bunions?

Bunions are often thought to be due to poor-fitting footwear, however bunions have been found on people who have never worn footwear. It is generally conceded that inappropriate footwear can exacerbate bunions, but largely biomechanical factors are considered to be the main cause of bunions. For example, over-pronation or rolling in of the foot (flat feet) and having a short first metatarsal can increase the chance of a bunion deformity developing. Excessive rolling in of the foot can force the big toe joint to be pushed into the ground and prevent the joint from bending naturally during stepping.

Other possible causes of bunions include genetics, leg length discrepancy, and reduced strength in foot ligaments (such as that which is caused by hormone release in pregnant women).

How are bunions treated?

Bunions do not generally get better if left untreated. The condition usually only gets worse; bunions get bigger and big toe joint arthritis can develop.

The main goal of treatment for bunions is to reduce over-pronation, removing excessive force from the site of the bunion. Orthotics are generally the most successful treatment for this, and early treatment is always best to halt progression of the bunion. Bunions that have reached the tertiary stage of development are more difficult to treat and may require surgical intervention.

In addition to orthotics, well-fitting footwear is essential to reduce irritation and your podiatrist will be able to provide advice on footwear to meet your needs. Entire Podiatry stock a range of footwear that is suitable for people who have bunions, such as shoes with stretch to accommodate the area of the bunion.

Ice may be used for temporary pain relief and to relieve symptoms of bursitis. Foot strengthening exercises may also be prescribed as part of your bunion treatment regime.

Visit Us Today

Brisbane CBD

LEVEL 13, 97 CREEK ST
BRISBANE Q 4000

Phone: 07 3229 9959
Fax: 07 3053 3128

Toowong

4/621 CORONATION DRIVE
TOOWONG Q 4066

07 3462 0268
07 3053 3128

Chermside

SUITE 15, LEVEL 2
956 GYMPIE ROAD
CHERMSIDE Q 4032

07 3359 8836
07 3350 2822

Morayfield

UNIT 5C, MORAYFIELD GARDENS
197 MORAYFIELD ROAD
MORAYFIELD Q 4506

07 5490 8222
07 3053 3128

North Lakes

1051B/1 N LAKES DRIVE
NORTH LAKES
MANGO HILL Q 4509

07 3491 6099
07 3053 3128

Margate

328 OXLEY AVENUE
MARGATE Q 4020

07 3889 5551
07 3053 3128

Strathpine

UNIT 1, 427 GYMPIE ROAD
STRATHPINE Q 4500

07 3881 3995
07 3053 3128

Logan

SHOP 1
1 WEMBLEY ROAD
LOGAN CENTRAL Q 4114

07 3299 2222
07 3053 3128

Robina

EASY T MEDICAL CENTRE
42 SCOTTSDALE DRIVE
ROBINA Q 4226

07 5503 6399
07 5575 8906

Mobile Podiatry

Entire Podiatry can provide mobile podiatry services in the comfort of your own home, at hospitals, nursing homes, for those who find it difficult to travel to a local clinic, or for anyone who does not want to visit a clinic at this time.

To book a mobile podiatry visit, please contact us on 1800 4 ENTIRE (1800 4 368 473) or fill in the enquiry form below.

Enquire Now