Bunions are the painful bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe. Larger bunions can cause the tip of your big toe to angle toward the second toe.

Research indicates that 23 percent of people aged 18 to 65, and 36 percent of those older than 65 have bunions. If you or someone you know is dealing with bunions there are some facts that you need to know.

Who Gets Bunions – Women are far more likely to develop bunions. Some studies report that bunions occur nearly 10 times more frequently in women. Podiatrists suggest that tight-fitting shoes, especially high-heel and narrow-toed shoes, might increase the risk for bunion formation. Bunions are reported to be more prevalent in people who wear shoes than those who go barefoot. Bunions are also more common in older people, leading to a greater incidence of bunions with age.

The Genetic Link – Studies indicate that there seem to be inherited (genetic) factors that predispose one to the development of bunions. If someone in your immediate family has bunions you stand a greater that average chance of developing bunions.

Bunion Symptoms – You know you have a bunion when you have pain at the base of the big toe. This is aggravated when walking and wearing shoes. You will also notice a bony bulge at the base of the big toe that is sometimes red and callused. The pressure caused by the bulge caused the tip of the big toe to point toward the second toe.

Shoes Make a Difference – Tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes that put pressure on the big toe joint can cause bunions. Wear roomy shoes that have wide and deep toe boxes (the area that surrounds the toes), low or flat heels, and good arch supports. The right shoes can help prevent the foot rolling inward while walking or running which can decrease the odds of developing bunions.

Nonsurgical Bunion Treatments – These can be as simple as avoiding excessive walking and wearing loose shoes or sandals. Anti-inflammation medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce inflammation and pain. Stretching exercises as recommended by your podiatrist can reduce the tension on the inner part of the bunion.

Bunion Surgery – There are over 100 types of bunion surgery. The type of bunion surgery a podiatrist recommends depends upon the severity of the bunion, the age of the patient, and deformity of the foot.

Do you have a painful bunion that needs to be removed? Jean Brown Research is currently conducting a clinical research study of an investigational pain drug given after bunion surgery.

If you qualify for the bunion removal study you may receive:

  • Study-related exam
  • Study-related pain medication

Space in the bunion study is limited.  To see if you qualify, please fill out and submit your information on the form on the Jean Brown Research Bunion Removal Study page.