This fun bun-ion quiz has been brought to you by your friendly neighborhood podiatrist, Dr. Kristian Jeffress, DPM. 1. What is a bunion? A bunion is an enlargement of the of the bone and soft tissue surrounding the big toe. This makes your foot look like you have a bump on the inside of the base of your big toe and also causes your big toe to angle toward the second toe. 2. Where do bunions come from? Bunions are genetic progressive deformities. A common misconception is that bunions form from wearing narrow shoes. Unless your shoe gear is a constant issue of being too small throughout your entire adolescents, narrow shoes are not the cause of the bunion. However, it is true that narrow shoes can intensify the severity of bunion formation, but this is typically not the cause. So this Thanksgiving, be sure to thank your family tree for your bunions. 3. Who develops bunions? With bunions being genetic we are all pre-disposed based on our family history to develop bunions. But, bunions seem to be much more prevalent in women. Tight fitting shoes such as high heels and narrow toe shoes do increase the severity of bunion formation, thus the high percentage of women that develop bunions over men. Bunion X-ray 4. Can bunions be prevented? Bunions can not be prevented, but the severity of their development possibly can. Wearing properly fitting shoes can help tremendously in bunion formation. Your shoes should conform to the shape of your feet and should not constrict your toes. Custom inserts can also help prevent the rapid development of bunions. 5. Is surgery needed? Possibly. If you develop a bunion that becomes painful and other treatment options have failed, then surgery may be the right option for you. A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure commonly performed by a podiatrist that helps to straighten out the big toe. As with all problems, the sooner you catch it the easier it is to treat. Don’t simply assume that surgery is required for a bunion. Bunions in very early stages can be controlled with non-surgical means that may even prevent the need for surgery in the future! The best thing you can do is visit with your podiatrist to see what the best options are.