HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On this National Bunion Day, Dr. Joseph Caporusso stopped by the ValleyCentral Studios to answer the question: What is a bunion?

“A bunion is actually a deformity of the great toe joint. The great toe moves closer to the second toe and the bone before that. It’s called the first metatarsal and protrudes out and that’s what people see,” said Dr. Caporusso.

Bunions are a hereditary condition according to Caporusso.

“Because of hereditary mostly what happens is mom, dad, grandma, grandpa have a bunion and then what happens is it’s passed on. Most people have flat feet also with bunion deformities, and that’s what causes them to form even more.”

Besides the regular treatments, there are certain things that can be done such as clinical trials. What exactly does that mean?

Clinical trials are companies looking to help test different medicines in this case, looking at post-operative pain. The bunion is used as a deformity to correct to cause post-operative pain. The post-operative pain is then treated either by injections, by medicine, by mouth, or IV medicines. These medicines are trying to replace opioids as we know is a big problem in the United States. So these medicines are not addictive, and nonopioids. So now you can help take away that pain without causing someone to become addicted to medicines.” said Caporusso.

Dr. Caporusso adds that surgical intervention is also a method if all else fails.