Bunions develop when the pressures of bearing and shifting your weight fall unevenly on the joints and tendons in your feet. This imbalance in pressure makes your big toe joint unstable, eventually molding the parts of the joint into a hard knob that juts out beyond the normal shape of your foot.
Experts disagree on whether tight, high-heeled or too-narrow shoes cause bunions or whether footwear simply contributes to bunion development. Other causes include:
- Inherited foot type
- Foot injuries
- Deformities present at birth (congenital)
Bunions may be associated with certain types of arthritis, particularly inflammatory types, such as rheumatoid arthritis. An occupation that puts extra stress on your feet or one that requires you to wear pointed shoes also can be a cause.
Feb. 11, 2014
- Bunions. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00155. Accessed Sept. 1, 2013.
- Bunions. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/bunions.htm. Accessed Sept. 1, 2013.
- Ferrari J. Hallux valgus deformity (bunion). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 1, 2013.
- Usatine RP, et al. The Color Atlas of Family Medicine. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=8210081. Accessed Sept. 2, 2013.