How a bunion progresses
A bunion may start out as a slight curve on the inner edge of the foot,
but before long, it can turn into a red, protruding lump.
Individuals who dance, play sports, wear high heels regularly or have a hereditary predisposition to bunions may begin to notice at some point that their big toe is curving toward the others, and that a bony bump has formed at the toe's joint.
At this point, their bunion is merely a cosmetic issue, reports Remedy Health Media. However, the deformity is known to progress into a more serious problem.
As the big toe bends outward with greater severity, it stretches ligaments and tendons that are connected to bones in the feet. Eventually, the big toe will no longer align with the metatarsal bone, and the joint that connects the two will become enlarged and painful, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
It may also reach the point where range of motion is compromised and the bunion affects other toes, sometimes leading to hammer toe. This can cause severely hindered mobility and altered walking mechanics.Considering the effects of an advanced bunion on a person's quality of life, it's probably best to begin using bunion splints or orthotics at the first sign of a bunion or hammer toe. This may also help individuals avoid painful, costly bunion surgery.