Recognizing the Early Stages of a Bunion: Signs and Symptoms

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A bunion is a condition that occurs in one out of three Americans. When it comes to treatment, it’s better to reach out to your doctor sooner rather than later. However, if you want to tackle this issue on time, you need to recognize the early stages of a bunion deformity. 

What Are the Main Signs You Have Early Stages of Bunion?

The bunion is a bony bump located on the base of the big toe. This deformity in the big toe joint is caused by the changes in the alignment of the first metatarsal bone. This problem occurs due to changes in the biomechanics of the foot. Bunions can’t form overnight – the process that results in this deformity can take years and years, but there are early signs that can point to this podiatric condition. These include a visible bump on the side of the foot, redness and swelling, and toe misalignment and drifting.

Visible Bump on the Side of the Foot

The bony protrusion forms slowly over the years – it won’t be so obvious at first, but at some point, you will notice it. The deformity progresses, so the bump becomes more and more prominent. It’s worth mentioning that bunions can also occur on the bases of little toes – if this is the case, the deformity is called a bunionette (or tailor’s bunion). The development looks the same – the bony bump is forming slowly over time. 

Redness and Swelling Around the Bunion Area

The soft tissues in the area where the bunion deformity is located can be inflamed. This isn’t always the case in the beginning stages of a bunion, but it’s fairly common. Inflammation manifests as redness of the skin on top of the bunion, and there’s swelling in the big toe joint. This can cause stiffness and difficulty walking, as swelling affects the mobility of the joint. 

Toe Misalignment and Drifting

As the bump on the inside of the foot becomes more prominent, the big toe will be facing outwards more and more – in later stages of the bunion, the big toe may even “cross over” the second toe and form a more complex deformity. 

Can You Feel Pain and Discomfort in the Early Stages?

The levels of pain and discomfort are quite individual when it comes to patients with bunions, especially in the early stages of the development of this condition. Some patients will experience mild or even severe pain when walking or running but won’t feel any discomfort when resting. 

Others may have these unpleasant symptoms even when they’re not putting weight on their foot. On the other hand, some patients don’t feel anything in the early stages of a bunion, which often means they won’t get diagnosed until the bunion deformity starts to cause them discomfort. 

When Should You Visit the Doctor?

As soon as you experience any symptoms, reach out to your foot doctor. It’s always better to start with treatment sooner than later. The treatment options for bunions are non-surgical and surgical. In the early stages, the condition isn’t so problematic, so every doctor will recommend one or more conservative methods for pain management. Only when the symptoms progress will it be time to discuss bunion surgery

A Foot Surgeon in Miami Can Help You Get Rid of Bunions in No Time

If you suspect you may have a bunion, don’t waste your time – reach out to a podiatrist with experience in treating this condition. Luxe Foot Surgery clinic is the perfect place for you since we have a team of experts who can help you – contact us to book your free first consultation, and you’ll be one step closer to having healthy feet. 



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