KidsMD Health Topics

Bunions in Children

  • Overview

    A bunion is a bump that occurs at the base of the big toe when the joint that connects the toe to the foot (the metatarsophalangeal joint) becomes enlarged and sticks out.

    • While bunions are most common among adult women, they also tend to occur among young teenagers, especially girls between the ages of 10-15.
    • Can become progressively larger, to the point where wearing any type of shoe is painful.
    • Bursitis, an inflammation of the small sac between a tendon and a bone, may set in and your child's big toe may begin to angle toward the second toe, or move all the way under it.
    • The pressure from the big toe could force the second toe out of alignment, sometimes overlapping the third toe.

    How Boston Children's Hospital approaches bunions

    Taking its cue from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Children's recommends non-invasive, non-surgical treatment for your child's bunions, except in the most severe cases. This can be as simple as being extra attentive when you take your child shoe shopping, and picking shoes that accommodate both your child's foot size and shape.

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