Hallux valgus, commonly known as bunions, are bumps at the base of the big toe that can cause painful irritation and inflammation. Bunions can occur in young teenagers and are especially common in girls aged 10 to 15. While bunions in older women are typically associated with the use of high-heeled shoes with narrow toes, that is typically not the case in children and teens. Children with bunions usually have flat feet and may have loose tendons in the feet, both of which can lead to bunions.
Bunions may not cause any symptoms, but they can cause pain and trouble wearing shoes. Wearing shoes that have a wide toe box and are made of soft materials can help relieve symptoms. Other types of orthotics, splints and bunion straps can also help relieve pain.
Bunion surgery is not recommended unless there is extreme pain and other treatments, like wearing wider shoes, doesn’t help. Since children’s feet are still growing, bunions may often come back after surgery as your child’s feet grow. And, although bunion surgery is done on a same-day basis with no hospital stay, a long recovery is common and may include persistent swelling and stiffness.