Bunion (Hallux Valgus)

A bunion is an enlargement of the inside border of the foot at the base of the big toe. Bunions are often painful, mostly due to shoe pressure against the prominent area.

A bunion is usually associated with a tendency for the big toe to deviate toward the second toe.
The abnormal position of the bones has a tendency to worsen with age. In more severe cases, the big toe and second toe can overlap.

Bunions occur more frequently in women. This is partially because women's shoes tend to have narrow toes and elevated heels, which combine to force the big toe into the deformed position. There also can be an inherited tendency to form bunions, sometimes even appearing during the childhood years.


The simplest treatment for a bunion is to modify the footwear (wider toebox and lower heels) to avoid pressure. In mild bunions, this is often the only treatment that is necessary.

If a bunion remains painful or if the deformity is severe enough to be a problem with footwear, surgery can be done.

There are several surgical procedures that can be done for the correction of bunions, and the choice among these is made by your surgeon based on the severity and type of deformity. The goal of the surgery is to reduce the bony prominence on the side of the foot, and to straighten the deviated big toe.  Any deformities that may be present in the lesser toes (such as hammertoes) can often be treated at the same operation.

Bunion surgery is done as an outpatient. The foot must be protected with a brace while the bone heals during the first several weeks after surgery, but a cast is not needed.
Bunion (Hallux Valgus