The exact cause of bunions isn't clear, however there are a number of risk factors that may contribute. These include:
The main sign of a bunion is a change in foot shape, with the big toe bending towards the second toe.
Other signs & symptoms include:
Bunions develop slowly and although obvious, may not cause pain. If you are getting pain, calluses, corns, or changes in the colour of your skin, you should see your GP or a podiatrist to have your feet checked.
If you have diabetes or have any condition reducing the circulation to your feet, see your doctor as soon as you notice anything.
To diagnose bunions, your doctor or podiatrist will ask about your symptoms and examine your feet. X-rays and special tests are rarely needed.
When you first notice bunions develop, look at what changes you can make to reduce this getting worse.
If the bunion gets worse and more painful, see your doctor or a podiatrist as they can assess if other treatments or surgery would help.
Bunions are permanent in nature, unless surgically removed. However, with proper care and change in the type of shoes, surgery is only needed if pain cannot be managed or complications arise.
The possible complications of bunions may result in the following:
Bunion NHS Choices, UKToe injuries and disorders Medline PlusBunions Foot Health Facts, American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons
Hecht PJ, Lin TJ. Hallux valgus. Med Clin North Am. 2014 Mar;98(2):227-32.Hallux valgus and bunion surgery Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics