A bunion is a prominence of bone that protrudes behind the great toe. The prominence is there because of the change in position of the great toe and the associated change in position of the first metatarsal (the long bone behind the big toe).
Although there is some argument regarding the cause of bunions, it is agreed that heredity is the most important factor. It is sometimes mistakenly believed that shoes are the cause of bunions. While there is no argument that shoes can cause or aggravate the symptoms associated with bunions, there is controversy over whether shoe pressure actually creates the deformity.
There two methods of treating bunions:
Conservative care is mainly accommodation. There are many types of coverings and paddings that may be purchased to protect the area from irritation. Of course shoes that accommodate the bump are critical in relief of symptoms. Over the counter analgesics are helpful when the bunion is painful.
Pain that conservative measures does not control is the only good reason for surgical correction of a bunion. Bunion correction is not a cosmetic procedure. Numerous procedures are used in the reconstruction of a bunion deformity. All procedures require work on ligaments, tendons, and bone. Most of the time you are able to bear weight following surgery, but because of swelling and pain you can only be on your feet for a limited amount of time.