Bunions - Describe Your Experience

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What are bunions?

The common bunion is a localized area of enlargement of the inner portion of the joint at the base of the big toe. The enlargement actually represents a misalignment of the big toe joint (metatarsal phalangeal joint) and, in some cases, additional bone formation. The misalignment causes the big toe to point outward (medically termed hallux valgus deformity) toward the smaller toes. This deformity is progressive and will increase with time. The enlarged joint at the base of the big toe (the first metatarsophalangeal joint, or MTP joint) can become inflamed with redness, tenderness, and pain. A small fluid-filled sac (bursa) adjacent to the joint can also become inflamed (bursitis), leading to additional swelling, redness, and pain. A more deep joint pain may occur as localized arthritis develops in later stages of the deformity.

A less common bunion is located at the joint at the base of the smallest (fifth) toe. This bunion is sometimes referred to as a tailor's bunion or bunionette.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Badger, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 28

I am now 50 years old and started developing a bunion on my right foot at the age of about 25. I t got progressively worse for about 20 years, and was often red and sore. I learned about wearing bigger shoes about 5 years ago and that helped a lot. I now wear size 12 shoes even though my feet are really 10s, and I always wear an extra wide one. I always try the shoe out to make sure it doesn't rub the bunion. But the really interesting thing is I have had a variety of arthritic conditions in various joints for about the same length of time I've had the bunion, and about 2 years ago had to stop eating wheat gluten because of stomach problems. After I stopped eating wheat gluten, all of my arthritic joint problems went away and so did my bunion inflammation and pain. The toe joint is still not shaped right, but there is no pain at all in 2 years since I stopped eating gluten.

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Comment from: cwrunner, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 14

I am a 70 year old male and have been jogging since 1976. I have run marathons and many 10Ks. Two years ago I developed very painful bunions, one on the left big toe and one on the right little toe. For 6 months I tried 3 different shoe makers and widths. I got no relief, so last December (2012) I stopped running and have moved to a recumbent stationary bike for exercise plus my normal weight lifting and yoga. Two days ago I went for a 3 mile run and the pain came back, even with toe guards and holes cut in my shoes at the point of pressure. I don't much care for the bike as a form of exercise and am looking for a remedy.

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