Bunion is a condition characterized by swelling and deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe resulting in the big toe turning to the outside of the foot. The friction of this bone projection at the base of the toe results in restrictions and pain when using shoes.
The exact etiology is not known but family predisposition, use of inappropriate (tight) shoes and autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis) have been associated with an increased likelihood of developing this condition.
Initial treatment is usually the use of comfortable shoes with enough space in the front so that the affected area is not rubbed (there is the possibility of opening the patient's shoes in the area of interest with the help of a shoe meker). Surgical treatment is followed in patients with pain who have not responded to conservative treatment and usually involves removal of the swelling and some of the many osteotomies described. The choice of surgery, the recovery, the possible complications and the limitations are something that you will discuss with your orthopedist based on the degree of deformity, the coexisting problems and -finally- your expectations.