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Diagnosis Orthopedics


A thorough medical history and physical exam by a physician is necessary for the proper diagnosis of bunions and other foot conditions. X-rays can help confirm the diagnosis by showing the bone displacement, joint swelling, and, in some cases, the overgrowth of bone that characterizes bunions. Doctors also will consider the possibility that the joint pain is caused by or complicated by:

  • Arthritis, which causes destruction of the cartilage of the joint
  • Gout, which causes the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint
  • Tiny fractures of a bone in the foot or stress fractures
  • Infection

Your doctor may order additional tests to rule out these possibilities.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.