A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is when your big toe turns towards your other toes forming a bony lump on the side of your foot. Sometimes a soft swelling will develop over the lump called bursitis. Sometimes a smaller bunion can appear on your little toe.
In most cases, it may not be obvious why a bunion has formed, but certain things increase your risk of getting them including:
If you have a bunion, you may notice:
You might also develop corns or calluses around your big toe.
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Although bunions often require no medical treatment, see your GP or a doctor who specialises in treating foot disorders (podiatrist or orthopaedic foot specialist) if you have:
Usually, your doctor will be able to tell you if you have a bunion after conducting a simple assessment. They'll look at your feet and toes and watch you walk.
An X-ray can show the level of deformity.
Your GP may refer you to a podiatrist to give you advice on how to manage your bunions. If you have bunion pain, this can be eased by:
The only way to get rid of bunions is by surgery, called an osteotomy or bunionectomy. Bunion surgery can involve removing, realigning and pinning of your bones to: