A bunion is a localized painful swelling at the base of the big toe (the great toe). The joint is enlarged (due to new bone formation) and the toe is often misaligned. It is frequently associated with inflammation. It can be related to inflammation of the nearby bursa (bursitis) or degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis). Bunions most commonly affect women. Ballet dancers are prime candidates for bunions. Tight-fitting shoes and high heels can contribute to bunions. The treatment of bunions includes rest, a change in shoes, foot supports, medications or surgery.