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A bunion is a foot deformity that is characterized by a big toe that angles inwardly toward or even underneath the second toe. Smaller bunions known as bunionettes or tailor’s bunions can form next to the little toe.
Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, may have a genetic source. They are also associated with wearing tight shoes that squeeze the toes, including high heels and other narrow shoes. Bunionettes are often caused by doing things that bear weight on the little toe, such as sitting cross-legged.
Depending on the severity of the condition, a doctor may recommend one of the following nonsurgical options to treat the bunion:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Orthotic inserts, including bunion pads, toe spaces, and bunion splints
- Switching to shoes with a low heel or no heel that provide more room
If nonsurgical treatment options don’t work for you, surgery may be recommended to correct the bunion. The surgical procedure suggested will depend on the type and severity of the bunion.