A bunion appears as a large boney bump on the side of the foot. Bunions may be extremely painful and make it difficult to wear enclosed full shoes. Bunions are formed when the big toe loses its flexibility to bend during walking, due to a mal-aligment of the first metatarsal and the big toe. Experts suggest bunions are hereditary and not caused but aggravated by poor fitting footwear. Small bunions (bunionettes) can form on the joint of the little toes.
Footwear advice, good proper fitting shoes will help reduce friction on the boney bunion bump. Bunion protector pads and splints are helpful in reducing pain caused by footwear. Orthotics can help slow the progression of the deformity, but are only of benefit in the early stages. Surgery is an option for late stage deformity or very painful and limiting bunions.