A bunion is an enlargement of the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot, often formed from a bony growth or a patch of swollen tissues, and is caused by the shifting of the big toe bone inward towards the other toes. This shift can cause a serious amount of pain and discomfort and the area around the big toe will become inflamed, red, and painful.
Bunions are most commonly formed in people who are already genetically predisposed to them or other kinds of bone displacements. However, even if you do not have a history of this in your family, you can still develop bunions if you are wearing improperly fitting shoes, such as trying to cram your feet into high heels, or by running or walking in a way that causes too much stress on the feet.
Bunions are quickly and easily diagnosed by podiatrists. If bunion pain is too severe, surgery may be required. Several techniques are used in bunion surgery but can be broken down into bunion shaving, bone cutting, and bone fusion. Bunion shaving is saved for smaller bunions and involves the removal of excess of bone. Bone cutting involves the repairing of the misaligned bones by cutting them to change their shape. Bone fusion involves realigning the entire bone by fusing a joint that is not essential in the foot.