Dr. Johanna Youner, DPM, FACFAS

Board-Certified Podiatric Surgeon
40 Park Avenue, Suite 5
(37 East 36th Street)
New York, N.Y. 10016

Contact Us:

(212) 683-7757
(212) 683-7034
Fax: (212) 889-6150

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What is a Bunion?

A bunion is an enlarged bone on the side of the big toe that is angled outward. Depending on the severity of the bunion, the big toe may be angled mildly or sharply toward the other toes.

What causes bunions?

Bunions can be caused by:

  • hereditary tendency
  • foot injury
  • neuromuscular disorder
  • congenital deformity (a deformity that is present at birth)
  • loose joint movement
  • poorly fitting shoes

How do bunions develop?

Most bunions form as the big toe responds to abnormal pressure on foot joints. For example, your foot may roll excessively inward during walking. Over time, this stress may cause the big toe to move toward the other toes. This, in turn, pushes the big toe joint outward.

Bunions may develop along with inflammatory joint diseases such as osteoarthritis. They also often develop along with other foot problems, including hammertoes, corns, and calluses.

Bunion Surgery

Positional bunionectomy

A positional bunion is a bony growth on the base of the big toe. It enlarges the joint. In a positional bunionectomy, the bump is removed and some soft tissue that has tightened may be released. Afterwards, you might have to wear a special surgical shoe or a splint.

Metatarsal head osteotomy

Structural bunions occur when the angle between the first and second toe bones increases beyond normal. Sometimes bony growths may form, resulting in irritation and swelling. In a metatarsal head osteotomy, the bone is cut and repositioned. Any bumps are also remolded. Afterwards, you may have to wear a surgical shoe or cast until the bone heals.

Metatarsal base osteotomy

Severe structural bunions result when the angle between the first and second toe bones is excessive. To treat these, a metatarsal base osteotomy may be conducted. A wedge of bone is removed from the base of the first metatarsal (large toe) bone and the bone is repositioned. Wires or screws may be inserted to stabilize the bone. Afterwards, you may have your foot in a cast.