How are Bunions Formed? – Indicators & Risk Factors

Bunions are a joint progressive foot deformity caused due to heredity or underlying conditions like a high arch and flat feet!

What is a Bunion?

In simple words, the bunion is the contortion of soft tissue or outgrowth of the joint bone that causes a lump formation. It is present at the sides of the feet. It can be caused due to significant toe realignment or small toe protrusion. Both have similar ground causes; however, a bunion is most commonly seen in the big toe joint.

Bunions are not just limited to the inner anatomy but also the external factors. There may be a change in the joint, but the skin around the lump also faces many challenges. Because of constant rubbing, there is a buildup of corns and calluses. Often formation of persistent blisters thins out the area and causes more damage to the toe.

What you need to know is that bunions can cause discomfort in several activities and are pretty painful. Your feet can get numb. It goes as far as a constant burning sensation around the inflamed area throughout the day.

How are Bunions formed?

At the front of your feet, each toe is joined to the arch through a joint. The first joint at the base of the big toe is called Metatarsophalangeal Joint (MTP). All the joints are joined without a smidge bit of space between them.

When you wear tight shoes or any factor that increases the immense toe pressure, your body tries to accommodate that. Remember that it does not develop overnight. Constant pressure against the toe causes a gradual change in the anatomy of the feet. As the big toe pushes against the second one, the joint at the base is disturbed. It starts to jut out or move away from the other joints at the bottom. The first toe joint is called a metatarsophalangeal joint.

As it moves away from the other joint, the angle widens. The more the joint is distorted, the severe the bunion gets. The angle is called Intermetatarsal Angle (IMA). In the end, a bony protrusion is formed that is out of the foot’s symmetry.

The common indications are:

    • The toes do not face straight forward.
    • The big toe is crammed or pushes overlying the smaller ones.
    • The inflamed area at the base of the big toe.
    • Corns or calluses formation on the lump.
    • The symmetry of the foot is changed.
    • Pain and difficulty in movement.
    • Rise of angle within a few weeks of the first appearance.
      Bunions that form at the small toe base are called ‘Bunionettes’ or Tailors Bunion.’

Risk factors:

Common risk factors that cause the formation of bunions are discussed below. Before you read those, you should know that bunions are hereditary, and those inherited are more resistant to the remedies.

Other reasons that risk contortion or bone growth are:

    • Overpronation, like in low arches or flat feet that causes uneven weight distribution of the body.
    • Conditions like polio that affect the muscular framework of the feet.
    • Diabetes delays the recovery or weakens the sturdiness of bones.
    • Prior foot injuries.
    • Arthritis has already affected the bones.

Interesting Facts:

    • Women are more likely to develop a bunion than men because of hormonal imbalances.
    • Each second person under the age of ten has a bunion, and more than half of adults face this foot deformity.
    • Apart from hereditary bunions, most aged people or people above the age of forty start to develop a bunion.
    • Bunions are formed because of trivial tasks like narrow shoes, heels, flat shoes, and a lack of supportive footwear.
    • Bunions should not be neglected because it is a progressive foot deformity.
    • Bunions in young people allow free movement, but as you age, the action gets stiffer and is restricted.

I hope you have understood the mechanism behind the formation of bunions. It is essential to understand this topic because it gives you free information about what happens and what you can do to prevent that!

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