A bunion is a bone deformity at the base of the great toe, or hallux. As the deformity becomes larger, the joint can become more painful and swollen, and wearing dress shoes or work shoes becomes an issue for the patient. While wearing narrow, pointed or generally ill fitting shoes may aggravate a bunion, it probably does not cause one. You can also develop a bunion at the base of the little toe, or fifth digit. These are generally referred to as Tailor’s bunions, and like a regular bunion at the great toe, has pain and swelling at the bump, or bony prominence.
Treatment for bunions includes avoiding aggravating shoegear, stretching the shoes at the painful area, orthotics to control abnormal joint motions in the foot, injections for painful flare ups around the bunion, and surgery to correct the underlying structural deformity.