Bunions develop because the person wears ill-fitting footwear that puts pressure on their feet, or because they are genetically prone to developing bunions or because of injuries to their feet, says Mayo Clinic. Other people develop bunions because they are born with foot deformities.
Bunions may also be a risk of inflammatory arthritis, says Mayo Clinic. Bunions can be treated nonsurgically by discarding ill-fitting shoes and finding shoes that have a roomy toebox. The person's physician can also tape or splint the foot in a way that takes pressure off of the foot.
Other people place padded inserts into their shoes to ease pain and to keep from exacerbating the bunions, claims Mayo Clinic. These inserts are bought in a store or can be prescribed by the physician. Pain medications also ease the discomfort of a bunion. Ice compresses are also applied to a bunion at the end of the day to reduce inflammation.
Surgery is an option if conservative treatments don't work, says Mayo Clinic. Because there are different types of bunion surgery, the patient and the doctor decide which one is best. Surgery removes the swollen and painful tissue from around the joint of the big toe, removes part of the bone of the big toe and straightens it out, fuses the bones of the joint, or straightens the angle of the big toe joint.