Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Bunion Overview

What is a bunion?
A person with a bunion has painful swelling of the skin and bone at the base of the first toe. As the bunion becomes worse, the first toe points toward the second toe. Left untreated, the bunion can result in breakdown of the first toe joint. Bunions can be caused by poorly-fitting footwear and high-heeled shoes. They are also more common in those with flat feet, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.

What are the symptoms of a bunion?
Symptoms of a bunion include toe pain, tenderness and swelling at the base of the big toe that can result in deformity.

How does the doctor treat a bunion?
Treatment for a bunion may include cold compresses, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain, orthotics, and bunion pads. Some may benefit from surgery.

Continue to Bunion Risk Factors

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bunion References
  1. Ferrari J, Higgins JP, Prior TD. Interventions for treating hallux valgus (abductovalgus) and bunions. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(1):CD000964. [14973960]
  2. Ferrari J. Bunions. Clin Evid. 2004 Jun;(11):1404-16. [15652065]
  3. Robinson AH, Limbers JP. Modern concepts in the treatment of hallux valgus. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2005 Aug;87(8):1038-45. [16049235]
  4. Trnka HJ. Osteotomies for hallux valgus correction. Foot Ankle Clin. 2005 Mar;10(1):15-33. [15831256]
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