Bunions are a fairly common foot deformity that usually affects the joint of the big toe, but the pinky toe may also be affected. The bunion (or bunionette when it appears on your pinky toe) appears as an enlarged bump on the side or top of the big toe. Initially, there may not be much pain or discomfort associated with this bump, but as it gets larger and the toe is pushed further toward the other toes a variety of complications can arise.

Some of the symptoms and complications associated with bunions include the following:

  • Corns and callusesThese may form on or near the bunion causing extreme pain and discomfort.
  • Hammertoes—Having a bunion on your big toe increases the chances that you will develop a hammertoe, usually on the second toe.
  • Ingrown toenails—The misalignment of the toe can cause excessive pressure on the nail from rubbing against your footwear, resulting in an ingrown toenail.
  • Redness and swelling—The bony protrusion on your toe can rub against the inside of your shoes causing discoloration and inflammation.

Although bunions are not thought to be an inherited condition, some people are born with a mechanical instability in their joints that can predispose them to developing bunions and other foot deformities.

Steps you can take to treat your bunions and alleviate some of the pain and discomfort include:

  • Foot and toe exercises—to improve flexibility and increase strength.
  • Wider shoes—Since bunions can rub against the inside of your shoe causing other problems, a wider toe box is essential. Wearing high heels should be avoided.
  • Insulating pads and toe straightening devices—These can help cushion the bunion and realign the toe.

If you are experiencing complications with bunions, talking to an experienced board-certified podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. Contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.