Bunions: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Bunions affect as close to 50 million Americans. This foot problem results from calcium deposits on the base of the big toe. Bunions Mill Creek often develop in people who wear high heels or walk barefoot without proper arch support, but they can also occur in anyone who wears shoes with high heels or walks barefoot at home. Your doctor may recommend surgery if bunion symptoms do not improve after conservative treatment options have failed to relieve pain or discomfort.

Over time, bunions can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. However, other, more severe complications can occur. Some of these include:

Common complications of bunions are:

Nail deformity

Nail deformity is a common consequence of bunions. It may be mild, moderate, or severe and can affect all the nails. Some common signs and symptoms of this condition include changes in the shape, size, and color of your nails. Other signs include white spots on the tip of your fingernails, cracking or splitting at the base of your nail, and deformation and curving of your fingernails.

Hammertoes (Osteoarthritis)

Hammertoes are a common complication of bunions. If you have hammertoes, your shoes can become painful and uncomfortable. It is essential to wear good-fitting shoes that support the feet, as well as regular orthotic inserts or foot supports if necessary.

Achilles tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition that affects your Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is responsible for moving your heel up and down while you walk or run. It also helps to support your arch when you stand on both feet. If you have chronic bunions, the pressure on the tendon can cause inflammation and damage to it over time. Pain in your Achilles tendon could be an early warning sign for this condition.


Infection is a common complication of bunions. The infection may be bacterial, viral, or fungal and may occur in the skin, subcutaneous tissue, bone, blood, and tendon.

Symptoms of infection include pain, pain lasting longer than two weeks, redness, and swelling at the site of the bunion deformity. If you have a bunion deformity, you must visit your doctor as soon as possible if you develop these symptoms.


Metatarsalgia is a common complication of bunions and can occur in any part of the foot. It usually happens in football but can also affect the toes, heel, and ankle. The metatarsal bone can become inflamed, causing severe pain and swelling. In extreme cases, this may lead to ligament rupture. A torn ligament can heal without further complications, but if it grows back into place, it will cause pain when you walk or run.

Painful bunions can interfere with your usual way of life. If your bunions are causing severe discomfort, it is time to see a podiatrist. The doctor may recommend that you take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or use a foam roller or stretching exercises to help reduce the inflammation in your foot. Contact Hansen Foot & Ankle and request an appointment with a podiatrist to discover more about bunions and related complications.

By Alexander James

Beau Alexander James: Beau, a mental health advocate, shares personal stories, coping strategies, and promotes mental health awareness and understanding.