Bunions occur when your hallux (or big toe) is misaligned. The overlying skin can become red and swollen. Bunions can often be painful and can limit shoe choices. Contrary to popular belief, bunions are hereditary and not caused by tight or high heeled shoes. Treatment can be conservative, using orthoses and painkillers whilst physiotherapy can assist with related muscle imbalances. Such treatment will not correct the deformity, but can help with symptoms. Surgery can also be considered to relieve pain so that normal activities can be resumed. Studies have found that 85-90% of patients are satisfied with the results, however it’s important to note that this surgery is not cosmetic; the goal of surgery is to relieve pain and correct the deformity as much as possible.