A bunion is a bony bump at the base of the big toe joint, causing the big toe to turn in toward the second toe. A bony bump at the base of the little toe is called a bunionette or tailor’s bunion.
You may get bunions if:
- The shape of your foot puts too much pressure on your big toe joint.
- Your foot rolls inward too much when you walk.
- You have flat feet.
- You often wear shoes that are too tight.
- Bunions run in your family.
Symptoms develop gradually and may include swelling at the base of the big toe; toe displacement toward the other toes; joint redness, pain or stiffness; and skin irritation. You may not experience any symptoms at all. Bunions are sometimes confused with gout, but gout pain comes on suddenly, can be more severe, and tends to occur in episodes, while bunion pain is more constant.
At home treatment can include anti-inflammatory medications, changing to comfortable, supportive footwear, using shoe inserts or orthotics, and wearing pads to cushion the bunion. Corrective surgery may be an option if treatment does not relieve pain.