Dr. Sudhir R. Belagaje from Pinnacle Orthopaedics answers a reader’s question about bunions.
Q: What is a bunion and what causes them?
A: A bunion (or hallux valgus deformity) is when the big toe joint is no longer aligned with the rest of the toes and begins to angle to the outside border of the foot. Most research has shown that family history and shoe wear are the two main causes. Narrow toe box shoes, which tend to push the big tow joint to the outside, have been shown to be a cause of the problem. However, not everyone who regularly wears these types of shoes develops bunions. Therefore, genetics play an important role as well. If patients have pain or problems with a bunion, it is recommended that a foot and ankle specialist be seen so that options can be discussed and a treatment plan made.
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