What Is A Bunion?

A bunion occurs when the first metatarsal bone behind the large toe gradually moves out to form a lump or projection on the side of the foot. The first metatarsal is the major weight-bearing bone of the forefoot.

Bunions come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some people have a very small bunion that can still cause a great deal of discomfort, possibly because the bunion pinches the nerve against the bone. There are other people who have very large bunions with toes that overlap each other, but they do not have a lot of discomfort if they are willing to wear the shoes that it takes to be comfortable with this much deformity.

A bunion is created by muscle imbalances that are most closely linked to inherited tendencies. Certainly trauma or an accident can create a bunion but it’s far from the most frequent source. Both men and women can get bunions but about 90% of those who obtain correction are female. Narrow shoes do not cause bunions, but they can certainly make them very uncomfortable.


For more on bunions and their treatment, contact the office for a complete copy of the paper “Bunions and Bunion Corrections” by Dr. Rex Smith, DPM

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