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What is a Bunion? Learn more about this condition


A bunion (also referred to as hallux valgus) is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe.  The visible bump reflects changes in the big toe joint and the big toe (hallux) will begin to deviate towards the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead.

Although bunions are not always symptomatic, they are a progressive deformity.  They begin with a deviation of the hallux, changing the angle of the bones over the years and increasing the prominence of the bony bump.  The lesser toes often become involved, by either over-riding, under-riding or hammering to make way for the big toe.


Signs and symptoms of a bunion include:

  • The base of the big toe is swollen and sticks out.
  • The big toe is often bent towards the other toes, and sometimes the second toe is pushed to overlap the third toe.
  • Skin around the big toe joint is red and sore.
  • Thickened skin at the base of the big toe.
  • Pain in the big toe or foot.
  • Wearing shoes is painful.
  • Bunion pain or difficulty when walking.

Causes and risk factors

It is sometimes difficult to identify the cause of a bunion.  Causes of bunions and risk factors for bunions include:

  • A family tendency to bunions may make them more likely to develop.
  • Congenital (present at birth) deformities of the foot.
  • Arthritis of the foot – if it affects walking, it can make bunions more likely to develop.
  • Neuromuscular problems, such as cerebral palsy.
  • Biomechanical factors, such as low arches, flat feet and hypermobile joints, can increase the risk.
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight, too narrow or too short, and with pointed toes will exacerbate symptoms if bunions are present.
  • Wearing high heels will also exacerbate existing bunions.
  • Women are more prone than men.
Are you suffering from this condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track.  Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000



We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



Check our blog about Tailor’s Bunion

Read our blog about Overriding/Underriding Toe

Check our blog about Rheumatoid Arthritis

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