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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066




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By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
September 30, 2014
Category: Bunions
Tags: Bunions   foot surgery   Orthotics  

Many have gone under the assumption that their bunions are caused by tight-fitting shoes, in particular the pointed-toe style of women’s dress shoes. There have been plenty of “reliable sources” reinforce this misconception.   Men get bunions and wear more rounded toe styles; bunion deformities can be seen in children under the age of 10 who have never worn the wrong style of shoes.  There is ample evidence of people with bunions who have never worn a pair of shoes.

Then what exactly does cause bunions to develop? 

A bunion deformity occurs when the 1st metatarsal bone (the bone behind your big toe that makes up part of the ball of your foot) shifts away and/or upwards from the 2nd metatarsal next to it.  This causes a sideways buckling of the joint which results in the big toe bending towards the 2nd toe.  While it can appear that a pointed-toe shoe is pushing the big toe over, the true driving force is the shifting of the metatarsal bone.


What causes the metatarsal bone to shift? That is the key here. Each of our bodies is a complex “walking machine” that functions according to how it was built –by our parents.  The basic structure of our skeleton is akin to the structural framework of a building or a machine.   Faulty “engineering” leads to faulty function.  We’ll see it as feet that are unstable—they pronate or the arch flattens out excessively—which results in the instability of the metatarsal bone and eventually the bunion deformity.

Treating bunions involves dealing with both the deformity and the cause.  When symptomatic, bunions are corrected surgically by shifting the metatarsal back towards where it should be. But afterwards, the faulty mechanics—the instability—must be addressed by the use of prescription orthotics.  This deals with WHY the bunion developed in the first place and makes it less likely for the deformity to return after surgery.

The types of shoes worn, weight issues, jobs or activities involving being on the feet for prolonged periods are factors which can aggravate bunions.  They can be the triggers for bunions to become painful, or more painful than they were. Modifying these factors can ease some of the discomfort from bunion deformities to some degree.  But they don’t cause the bunions. 

Tight shoes do not cause bunions.  Bunions cause tight shoes. 

For more information about bunions, orthotics or if you have other questions about foot problems you’d like answered, visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com.  You can also call for an appointment at 732-382-3470.  


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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470