"Dr. Burton S. Schuler, Morton's Toe Expert"- Author of Why You Really Hurt, It All Starts In the Foot.



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Bunions caused by Abnormal Toe Stability says Fla. Podiatrist

Dr. Travell with JFK

Here is something  about bunions written about 6 months ago


What are Bunions?

A simple bunion is an abnormal bump of bone that is formed at the head of the first metatarsal bone. The bunion can either be on the top or side of the first metatarsal bone. In a more advanced bunion deformity, called Hallux Abducto Valgus, there starts to be a movement of the big toe toward the second toe. The most severe bunion is when the first toe not only moves toward the second toe, but it overlaps or under laps the second toe.


If a simple bunion bump is formed, there is a good chance Mother Nature will step in and produce a shock absorber that will protect the bunion bump. This shock absorber is called a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-containing sac. With time and enough irritation, the sac (bursa) that is protecting the bunion can become swollen, inflamed, and sore. This problem is known as bursitis.

Bunions and the Morton’s Toe

Over the years, the one constant that I have seen with patients who have bunions is a short first metatarsal bone and/or hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone, (Morton’s Toe) due to inheritance. We know that Morton’s Toe, Long Second Toe. takes place at the first metatarsal bone, so it makes sense you will have a lot of abnormal stresses and strains at that area. Because of this, bunions can and do exist. But the reason for the bunions is due to pronation that is caused by the Morton’s Toe.

Also many times bunions are secondary to Flat Feet, that is caused by Morton’s Toe or the Long Second Toe

Morton’s Toe and Pronation: The reason we get bunions.

Hypermobilty at the first metatarsal bone is one of the two hallmarks of having a Morton’s Toe . It is this hypermobility that causes us to get bunions .

This is what happens: In a hypermobile foot there is excess motion cause by pronation. This pronation cause the first metatarsal bone to be unstable and move upwardly , turn inwardly and move inwardly. As the pronation gets worst because of an untreated Morton’s Toe, Long Second Toe,  abnormal tension will be applied by the Adductor Hallicus muscle. This abnormal tension also cause the bunion to form by pulling th bunion joint abnormally apart. This stress can also cause arthritis to occur in the bunion joint it self.

A lot has been written about how shoes are a major cause of bunions. I can agree with that, but only up to a point. Believe it or not, at one time or another there are some people who insist on wearing shoes that are incorrect for them. Do all of these people have bunions or other foot problems? Of course not. The ones who end up getting foot problems are the ones born with the poor combination of having a short metatarsal bone, and/or hypermobility of the first metatarsal bone. The truth is, though, if you insist on constantly wearing shoes that are not right for you, then there is a strong likelihood that you not only will get bunions, but most of the other problems in my book, regardless of how normal your feet are. In any case, if your bunions don’t hurt leave them alone. 

A bunion is an enlargement of   the big toe bone and it joint. . This  joint, which carries lots of weight, is stiff and sore, making even the wearing of shoes difficult or impossible Bunions form when the normal balance of forces that is exerted on the joints and foot’s tendons becomes disrupted–leading to foot deformity. They are brought about by years of abnormal motion and pressure over the  big toe  joint. It is acknowledged that bunions run in families. One theory advanced by Dr. Burton S. Schuler, a practicing podiatrist for over 36 years, Director of the Ambulatory Foot Clinic in Panama City, Florida, and author of Why You Really Hurt: It All Stars in the Foot, is that it is not necessarily bunions that are inherited but toe length, and toe stability  which can lead to the development of bunions .

On inheritance and the foot, Schuler indicates that one of the most commonly inherited foot problems is a short first metatarsal bone  (Long Second Toe) –also known as Morton’s Toe (http://www.footcare4u.com/category/the-wrong-kind-of-inheritance/). On one of his two websites (http://www.footcare4u.com), Schuler writes: “That is not to say that you are destined to inherit the same foot pathology your parents have, but in the process of inheriting a poor or weak foot, you open up a Pandora’s box that can eventually lead to any number of foot ailments…The Morton’s Toe is the problem most often inherited that causes foot problems.”

Isn’t a longer second toe merely a cosmetic problem, and how is this related to bunions? Morton’s Toe (short metatarsal bone or hypermobility of this bone) causes the foot to over-pronate, with weight unevenly distributed throughout the foot. This causes abnormal stress in that are where the bunion can eventually form as a response (http://www.footcare4u.com/category/bunions/). When a bunion bump forms, the foot may develop it’s own “shock absorber” to protect the bunion bump. This is called a “bursa,” which is a sac of fluid that can eventually become inflamed–developing bursitis.

Even if you switch shoes to accommodate bunions or bursitis in your foot, the problem will persist if you do not seek treatment for what could be the root cause of your problem: Morton’s Toe (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/home/#tp).


In the 1920’s and 1930”s Dr. Dudley J. Morton of Yale Medical School and Columbia Medical School wrote that a problem with the 1st metatarsal bone, known as a Morton’s Toe could be the reason for most foot problems. Dr. Janet Travel, White House physician to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at George Washington University took this concept further by writing and teaching that the Morton’s Toe could cause pain all over your body. She wrote and taught for four decades that a Morton’s Toe could cause back, hip, knee, leg foot and ankles problems. She felt that the Morton’s Toe, was so important that at the age of 89 she made a video tape to teach other physicians about how to recognize it and how to treat it.