A Bunion (also known as Hallux Valgus) is a subluxation of the first metatarsophalangeal joint with deviation of the big toe towards the second and accompanied by enlargement of the first metatarsal head. Bunions form when your big toe pushes up against your other toes, forcing your big toe joint in the opposite direction, away from normal profile of your foot. Over time, the abnormal position enlarges your big toe joint, further crowding your other toes and causing pain. Bunions develop as a result of an inherited structural defect or stress on your foot or a medical condition, such as arthritis. Smaller bunions called bunionettes can also develop on the joint of your little toes.
Generally, Bunions are caused by an abnormal Biomechanical foot type; most often an excessively pronated foot ("fallen arch", "flat feet") type that increases pressure on the big toe as we walk or stand. Bunions are not "caused" by poor footwear, although poor fitting shoes (rubbing, too tight, etc) can certainly irritate the Bunion.
Corey's Bootery Certified Pedorthist Recommendations:
In a patient with a Bunion(s) it is important to assess the foot's biomechanics and also fit the patient into an approrpriate fitting shoe and one that provides the needed support like a Brooks Beast or Brook Ariel. The shoe generally needs to have medial support and a wide enough toe box. Cutom functional orthotics to support the arch and to control excessive pronation are also recommended. If you suspect you have a Bunion or Bunionette, please click here for a list of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek area providers.