Bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe are referred to as bunions. They cause the joint to move out of place and bend in toward the other toes. Bunions can be painful and make wearing shoes difficult.

Bunions typically occur more often in women. A bunion is most likely to develop when feet are repeatedly squeezed into narrow, pointed-toe shoes. Other causes include arthritis, bone abnormalities, and genetics. Teachers and nurses who do a lot of standing and walking are susceptible to bunions. So are ballet dancers, whose feet suffer from repetitive stress.

The symptoms of a bunion include:

  • Bump on the foot at the base of the big toe
  • Pain at the big toe joint that worsens when wearing shoes
  • Swelling or soreness around the joint of the big toe
  • Red, thickened skin along the outer edge of the big toe
  • Corns or calluses
  • Limited movement of the big toe

Treatment for a bunion involves wearing wide, comfortable shoes with foam pads to cushion the big toe from the side of the shoe. If there is severe pain or a deformity that makes it difficult to walk, Lancaster Orthopedic Group’s foot and ankle specialist may recommend a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy to remove the bony bumps and realign the toes.