Bunion, also known as Hallux valgus is an abnormal structure (deformity) of the big toe that tilts toward the smaller toes. As it progresses, the pain sensation in the toe slowly develops and a bony lump on the side of the toe will appear and increase in size. Therefore, it will eventually affect daily living and confidence.

Similar condition which shows a small lumpy bone on the side of the little toe joint is called a Bunionette.


A bunion has the following signs and symptoms:

  • Bony prominence or a bump found on the side of a big toe
  • The big toe joint has soreness, redness and swelling
  • Corn or calluses develops due to friction between the first and second toe
  • On and off pain
  • Movement limitation of the big toe
  • Difficulty walking

Buinions usually do not require any treatment. But, if you are experiencing the following, consult a Foot specialist or Podiatrist:

  • Persistent pain on the big toe
  • Visible bump on the side of the foot
  • Stiffness and restricted motion in the big toe
  • Difficulty in finding a shoe that fits due to a bunion


The real cause of a bunion is unknown but there are various factors which may have caused it such as:

  • Abnormal foot structure: Flat feet, a deformity in the big toe
  • Abnormalities in muscle and tendon: Tendon inflammation, Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Wearing inappropriate shoes: wearing too small, too high, or too tight cone heels that squeeze the tip of the toe.


Bunion can lead to the following complications:

  • Bursitis.Inflamed bone cushion which becomes painful and swollen
  • Hammertoe.The middle joint of the toe (commonly found on the toe beside the big toe) is bent that cause pressure and pain.
  • Metatarsalgia.Swollen and painful ball of the foot.