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Jeffrey Jackson, DPM Emily Ernst, DPM

What Causes a Bunion to Form?

Tuesday, 05 April 2022 00:00

While the exact cause of a bunion is not always apparent, their bony disfigurement is hard to miss. Genetics are believed to sometimes play a role in the development of a bunion. Many consider gout and rheumatoid arthritis as a possible link to certain bunions that have formed, as well as abnormal foot structures such as flat feet, flexible joints, loose ligaments, and more. Tight, pointy high heels and other types of ill-fitting footwear may worsen a structural abnormality and increase the likelihood of a bunion forming. Standing for prolonged periods of time can also worsen bunion symptoms. Podiatrists deal with bunions every day and have various techniques for correcting them, depending upon how far along the deformity has progressed. Don’t delay in making an appointment with a podiatrist to have your feet examined if you have redness, swelling, soreness, an existing bony bump, or a bump that’s beginning to form at the joint of your big toe.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of the podiatrists of JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.


  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development


  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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