What do you and Oprah Winfrey have in common? One of the answers might be bunions! Oprah has appeared in the past with Dr. Oz to discuss her foot deformity, which she said was publicized in a paparazzi photo. While your feet may not be photographed, it is important to identify and understand this common foot condition and how is it caused.
This bony nodule at the base of the big toe often protrudes, and forces the big toe into misalignment. For most people, bunions begin as a hereditary issue. It is estimated that about 50% of women have bunions. Wearing high-heeled shoes, those that are too small, or that have a narrow toe box worsen the faulty structure of the foot. Injury and arthritis are other possible factors.
For some people, this foot condition can be managed by wearing properly fitting shoes that accommodate for the deformity. However, bunions can be very painful. If left unaddressed, the bending of the big toe towards the other toes can also push them out of alignment. In some cases, bunions can cause debilitating pain.
Surgery is typically reserved for cases where pain is making it difficult to walk. The surgery is no guarantee that a bunion will not reform, and the healing process is long. Conservative measures are always tried first in an attempt to avoid surgical intervention.