Bunions (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Who develops bunions?

Bunions most commonly affect women. Some studies report that bunion symptoms occur nearly 10 times more frequently in women. It has been suggested that tight-fitting shoes, especially high-heel and narrow-toed shoes, might increase the risk for bunion formation. Tight footwear certainly is a factor in precipitating the pain and swelling of bunions. Complaints of bunions are reported to be more prevalent in people who wear shoes than in barefoot people.

Picture of a bunion.
Picture of a bunion. SOURCE: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Other risk factors for the development of bunions include abnormal formation of the bones of the foot at birth (congenital) and arthritic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In some cases, repetitive stresses to the foot can lead to bunion formation. Bunions are common in ballet dancers.

What are symptoms and signs of a bunion?

Bunions may or may not cause symptoms. A frequent symptom is foot pain in the involved area when walking or wearing shoes; rest relieves this pain. A bunion causes enlargement of the base of the big toe and is usually associated with positioning of the big toe toward the smaller toes. Shoe pressure in this area can cause interment pain while the development of arthritis in more severe bunions can lead to chronic pain.

Bunions that cause marked pain are often associated with swelling of the soft tissues, redness, and local tenderness. It is important to note that, in postpubertal men and postmenopausal women, pain at the base of the big toe can be caused by gout and gouty arthritis that is similar to the pain caused by bunions.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/27/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Bunions - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with bunions.
Bunions - Treatments Question: How were your bunions treated?
Bunions - Symptoms Question: How did you know you had a bunion? What were the symptoms associated with your bunion?

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!