A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a painful bump on the inside aspect of the great toe, often making it painful to stand and walk, especially with closed toe shoes.
In general, it is related to both hereditary factors and shoe wear type, especially tight fitting shoes and high heels. There is an angular deformity of the big toe joint that causes the big toe to lean over to the second toe. There may be calluses over the deformity that make it more tender to the touch. It is slowly progressive, and may even cause problems with the smaller, or lesser, toes such as hammertoe deformities, which are itself painful.
Initial treatment of bunions includes a change in shoe wear, preferably something wider with a wide toe box, to prevent rubbing of the painful bunion. Taping and padding may help relieve pain, but generally do not straighten the deformity in the long-run like braces for the teeth. For the pain, anti-inflammatory oral and cream medications may help as well as icing the foot.
If conservative management fails, surgical correction of the bunion deformity may be indicated. There are many different ways to straighten the bunion deformity, but careful clinical and radiographic examination will guide the best surgical treatment to prevent recurrence of the bunion.