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Bunions: Is it just a "bump" on the side of my big toe?

Bunions are one of the most common toe complaints that our podiatrists and podiatric surgeon manages at Foot Ankle Lower Limb. It is estimated that 1 in 5 females have bunions.

This blog will address some common misconceptions about Bunions.

What is a bunion?

Bunions (or Hallux Valgus) are a misalignment of the big toe joint in the foot. It occurs when the first metatarsal (long-bone in the middle of your foot) deviates outwards, and the big toe deviates inwards.

So indeed, it is not just a "bump" on the side of the big toe joint.

Does wearing high heels cause bunions?

It is a common misconception that ill-fitting footwear or high heels can cause bunions. However, this is a false myth. Bunions are predominantly caused by your genetics, and more often than not, someone in your family tree would also have a history of bunions or other toe deformities.

However, ill-fitting footwear or high heels can most certainly irritate a painful bunion. Lower limb biomechanics, female gender, hyper-mobility or underlying inflammatory conditions (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) have been found to be risk factors.

Can non-surgical treatment reverse bunions?

Non-operative management of bunions are categorically focused on reducing the associated painful symptoms associated with the deformity. Treatment may aid in slowing down the progression into more severe stages. However, it is a myth that non-operative treatment can reverse any bunion deformities. Advertised toe-splints will not reverse the deformity, and in some cases may aggravate the symptoms.

What is the treatment for bunions?

Our podiatrists at FALL will ensure to provide a tailored treatment plan to suit your individual needs. Examples of management include footwear, functional orthotics, laser therapy, lower limb exercise therapy and possibly sometimes a cortisone injection. If required, our podiatric surgeon will be able to provide a specialist surgical opinion.

Find out more

Any other questions? Ask us! Call on 08 9316 3010 or email at

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