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A bunion, also known as hallux abducto valgus (HAV), affects the joint of the great toe, causing the toe to angle towards the second digit. A Tailor’s bunion (bunionette) affects the fifth digit, causing the digit to angle towards the fourth digit.
Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors
Bunions and bunionettes are more common in women, and onset generally occurs between 20 and 50 years of age. Both are progressive in nature so do worsen over time. People born with abnormal bones in their feet are more likely to form a bunion.
· Red, calloused skin along the inside edge of the big toe
· A bony bump at the affected joint with possible associated corns and callus
· Corns and calluses between the first and second, or fourth and fifth digits
· Ongoing pain, or pain that comes and goes
· Limitations in rang of motion near the affected joint
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your practitioner can usually diagnose a bunion during a routine examination. A foot x-ray can show an abnormal angle between the big toe and the foot and, in some cases, arthritis.
When a bunion first begins to develop, take good care of your feet and wear wide-toed shoes. This can often solve the problem and prevent the need for any further treatment. It may help to wear felt or foam pads on the foot to protect the bunion, or devices called spacers to separate the affected toes. In some cases, orthotics can be helpful in offloading pressure from the affected joint.