What is a bunion?

A bunion is a common foot problem where the big toe points towards the second toe and causes crowding. This causes a large bump on the side of the foot, at the base of the big toe. The medical term for a bunion is ‘Hallux Valgus’, where hallux means big toe, and valgus means bent or twisted out.

The bunion, or bump, can be painful. Wearing tight shoes can make it even more painful.

You are more likely to get a bunion if you have family members who have also had a bunion. It is common for the bump to get bigger over time.

Most bunions can be managed without surgery.

What can I do about my bunions?

  • wear comfortable shoes with a soft wide toe box (the part that covers your toes)
  • talk to a shoe repair store about stretching the inside border of your shoes
  • use bunion pads to protect the area from pressure and rubbing
  • wear toe spacers between the big toe and the second toe
  • talk to your health care team about orthotics or bunion splints

Can surgery help my bunions?

Bunion surgery might be considered for people whose bunion pain does not improve after trying the options listed above.