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What is a Bunion

Bunion picture from San Francisco's Podiatrist

A bunion is a nothing more than a bump or enlargement of the bone and joint at the base of the big toe. This joint is called the first metatarsophalangealjoint (MPJ). A bunion forms when the joint becomes misaligned and the bone or soft tissues at the big toe joint start to move out of place. What happens is that the big toe starts to bend over toward the other toes. This causes the bone to stick out. The soft tissues that are covering that bone then becomes irritated red and inflamed. This causes a painful knot of bone. Because this joint carries the majority of the body´s weight while walking, bunions can become extremely painful. Eventually the big toe joint itself may become arthritic, stiff and sore. This can make walking and fitting into shoes extremely difficult.

How bunions develop by San Francisco Foot Surgeon.001

A bunion is a sometimes painful structural deformity of the bones and the joint between the foot and big toe. Bunions develop via long-term warping caused by pointed shoes during the growth phase of the foot,causing this joint at the base of the big toe to thicken and enlarge. This causes the bones of the big toe to angle in toward the second toe, and leads to an often painful lump of bone which forms at the outside-edge base of the big toe. The pressure of the point in the shoe, simultaneously causes ingrowing toenails. Hammer toes are caused by cramped shoes too. It should also be noted that bunions as well as hammer toes often occur within patients who have a predispositional genetic tendency. 


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