Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008


A bunion is a bony protrusion commonly located at the base of the big toe. A bunion alters the structure of the foot, causing a misalignment of the bones of the foot. Bunions can be extremely painful. The word “bunion” comes from the Latin word for turnip, “bunio.”

Bunions cause the big toe to point towards the other toes. Bunions affect the skeletal alignment of the front part of the foot. The condition of this altered alignment of the big toe is called hallux valgus. This misalignment of the big toe and the bones in the foot causes the bump on the along the instep of the foot.

A small bunion on the outside of the foot is called a bunionette or tailor’s bunion. This smaller type of the bunion usually happens to people who have regular bunions. Tailor’s bunions can be the result of restrictive footwear.

Bunions are most often caused by ill-fitting shoes. Bunions occur predominantly in woman due to wearing ill-fitting shoes that lack proper support. High heels are especially problematic. Bunions can be a complication of arthritis. Only 3% of the cases of bunions are caused by genetics.

Bunions cause pain, numbness, redness, inflammation, or a burning sensation. Some people don’t have any symptoms. Symptoms may worsen when wearing shoes that have narrow toes. Pain and other symptoms may progressively get worse. As the bunion gets larger, shoes will put more pressure on the toes, which in turn causes the bunion and its symptoms to get worse.

A bunion left untreated usually gets larger as the bones become increasingly misaligned. The tendons of the foot contribute to forcing the big toe into an abnormal position. The bunion may eventually cause the big toe to lie under or over the second toe. The second toe may develop hammer toe. Hammer toe is when the toe is constricted and the middle joint of the toe points upwards.

Diagnosing a bunion is easy since it is a noticeable bump along the inside of the foot. A doctor may order foot x-rays to determine the severity of the deformity. After the doctor has determined the severity of the condition, the doctor can suggest treatment options.
People with bunions should work with their doctor to determine the best course of treatment to prevent this progressive disorder from getting worse.


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