A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is a deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot. The big toe often bends towards the other toes and the joint becomes red and painful. The onset of bunions is typically gradual. Complications may include bursitis or arthritis.
The exact cause is unclear. Proposed factors include wearing overly tight shoes, high-heeled shoes, family history, and rheumatoid arthritis. Diagnosis is generally based on symptoms and supported by X-rays. A similar condition of the little toe is referred to as a bunionette.
Treatment may include proper shoes, orthotics, or NSAIDs. If this is not effective for improving symptoms, surgery may be performed. It affects about 23% of adults. Females are affected more often than males. The usual age of onset is between 20 and 50 years old. The condition also becomes more common with age. It was first clearly described in 1870.