- Foot Problems Slideshow Pictures
- What Feet Say About Health Slideshow
- Take the Feet Facts Quiz
- Patient Comments: Bunions - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Bunions - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Bunions - Symptoms
- Find a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
- Bunions facts
- What are bunions?
- What are the causes of bunions?
- Who develops bunions?
- What are symptoms and signs of a bunion?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose a bunion?
- What is the treatment for bunions? Are there home remedies to treat bunions?
- Is it possible to prevent bunions?
- What is the prognosis of a bunion?
Quick GuideBurning or Swollen Feet? What Foot Pain Says About Your Health
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 closed shoes than in barefoot people.
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 and/or change to a wider shoe relieves this pain. Shoe pressure in this area can cause interment pain while the development of arthritis in more severe bunions can lead to chronic pain. Besides ill-fitting shoes, unsupportive flimsy soled shoes can add stress to the bunion joint and increase pain and instability to the area.
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.