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A bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). A bunion causes a bump on your big toe joint. The big toe may turn toward the second toe (displacement), and the tissues surrounding the joint may be swollen and tender.
If you have a bunion but do not have pain or discomfort, treatment may not be necessary. The goals of treatment for bunions are both to relieve toe pain so that it does not limit daily activities and to prevent the bunion from getting worse.
Most bunions can be treated at home. In some cases, surgery is considered.
Nonsurgical treatment usually is used to decrease pressure on the big toe and relieve pain. Treatment includes:
Physical therapy, splints, or braces have not been proved to successfully treat bunions. But these treatments may be helpful for some people.
If nonsurgical treatment has not relieved toe pain and you aren't able to do normal daily activities, or if you have a severe bunion, you may want to consider surgical treatment. Bunion surgery is done to help restore normal alignment to the toe joint and relieve pain. For information on making the decision about surgery, see:
There are different types of bunion surgery—the best type of surgery for you depends on how severe your bunion is and how experienced your surgeon is. Look for a surgeon who does many different types of bunion surgery on a regular basis. Each bunion is different, and surgery needs to be tailored to each case.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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