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A bunion (medically known as hallux valgus) is a bony bump that forms on the side of the big toe joint. It occurs when the toe and long bones in the front part of your foot deviate and move out of place. This leads to the big toe being pushed towards the smaller toes and the big toe joint to stick out. The skin over the bunion might be red and sore.

While the development of the bunion is largely caused by genetic factors, wearing tight and narrow shoes can cause the bunion or make them worse. Foot mechanics and medical conditions, such as arthritis, can also contribute to a bunion developing.

Early intervention with education, shoe selection and foot orthotics can help prevent the condition from worsening and improve your overall foot health.

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About Bunions

Bunions occur progressively and have varying stages of development, leading to the following signs and symptoms:

  • A bony bulging bump on inside of your big toe joint
  • Pain and soreness around your big toe joint that is worse with extended walking
  • Red, sore and swollen skin over your big toe joint
  • Limited movement of your big toe
  • Corns and calluses. These develop where the toes rub against each other, causing additional discomfort
  • Overlapping toes. In severe cases, the big toe may angle all the way under or over the second toe, forcing it out of alignment

These can cause symptoms and impair your daily activities. Finding shoes that fit properly may also be a challenge due to the bunion rubbing onto the walls of the shoe.

What causes it?

A bunion is caused by the bones of your big toe and joint deviating and going into malalignment. This leads to the big toe being pushed towards the smaller toes and the big toe joint to stick out.

Risk factors:

  • Heredity. There is a strong genetic element in the tendency for a bunion to form.
  • Tight, narrow, ill-fitting shoes. In particular, shoes with a narrow pointed toe box that forces the toes together into an unnatural position.
  • Having an inflammatory condition. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can make you more likely to develop bunions.

How We Help

If you think you are developing or have a bunion, it is important to take steps to prevent further development of the bunion. Unfortunately, once a bunion occurs, there is no way to reduce the size of the lump without surgery. Early detection is hence crucial to avoid further development, pain and complications.

The goal of treatment is prevent further worsening of the bunion, alleviate pain, and to maintain your activity and function. For this, early non-surgical management is essential. These include:

  • Shoe selection. Wear shoes with a stable base and wide toe box that conforms to the natural shape of your foot and provides plenty of space for your toes.
  • Foot orthotics. Foot orthotics improve your foot mechanics and help distribute pressure more evenly during walking and running. This helps reduce your symptoms and prevents your bunion from getting worse. We can prescribe precision-made customised foot orthotics to suit your individual biomechanical needs.
  • Filing of calluses and corns. Self-thinning your calluses and corns with a foot file can help reduce pain and discomfort from it. If you need help, we can remove your calluses and corns in a pain-free, non-invasive way.
  • Strengthening of foot muscles. Exercises to strengthen the muscles in your feet can help prevent the bunion from worsening over the long term and alleviate pain in the big toe joint.

In the rare cases where your pain is persistent despite conservative care in the long term, surgery may be required by an Orthopaedic surgeon. If you have already had surgery, we can guide you in your rehabilitation so that you can return quickly to the activities that you enjoy.

Let us help you with your bunion!

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Podiatry Quest – Holland Grove

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Bus 92 from Bouna Vista MRT

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Tuesday: 2pm – 6pm
Wednesday: 9am – 6pm
Thursday: 9am – 6pm
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Saturday: 12pm-4pm (alternate weeks)
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Podiatry Quest – Novena

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We are at Novena Square, just at the lift landing on level 3

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Saturday: 9am – 1pm (alternate weeks)
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Podiatry Quest – Harbourfront

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Lift lobby B provides easiest access to us

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Tuesday: 9am – 1pm
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Saturday: Closed
Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

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