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Q: I believe I have a bunion, what caused it and how can it be corrected?

A: A typical “bunion” is a structural abnormality of the alignment of the bones of the great toe and the metatarsal bone just behind it. It is usually an inherited condition that worsens with time. The rule of thumb should be non-surgical care initially. This may involve prescription orthotic shoe inserts, changes in shoe style, icing, padding, cortisone injections, or oral anti-inflammatory medication. If a reasonable period of simple, non-surgical care does not relieve the symptoms of pain, and if the patient is a good candidate for surgery from a medical standpoint, there are many different surgical procedures to correct a bunion deformity. This typically involves some carpentry work to re-align the bones, tendons and ligaments that control the position of the great toe. Judicious selection of the appropriate procedure typically leads to a high rate of success.

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