Tuesday, 05 March 2024 00:00

Symptoms and Risk Factors of Bunions

Bunions are common foot deformities that can be recognized by the formation of a bony bump at the base of the big toe. The tip of the toe is then pushed in the opposite direction, toward the smaller toes. A bunion is often accompanied by pain, inflammation, restricted toe movement, and the development of calluses or corns. While anyone can develop a bunion, certain risk factors heighten susceptibility. Wearing ill-fitting footwear, particularly high heels or narrow shoes, exerts pressure on the toes and contributes to bunion formation. Additionally, genetic predispositions play a significant role, with family history indicating a higher likelihood of developing foot structure abnormalities that may lead to bunions. Various foot conditions such as flat feet, low arches, or previous foot injuries increase the risk. Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and connective tissue disorders are often associated with bunions. If you or your child show a tendency toward developing a bunion, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation and recommended treatment measures. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Paul A. Santangelo, DPM of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.


  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development


  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Niles and Rockford, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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