Bunion, a term applied in surgery to enlarged bursae, or synovial sacs, situated on any part of the foot. In the great majority of cases, bunions are directly produced by the pressure of badly fitting boots; and if the boots are constructed of patent leather, or any material which stops the excreting action of the skin, this, too, may be regarded as an indirect cause of their formation. Sometimes, however, the tendency to suffer bunions is hereditary, and almost irremediable. A bunion begins as a painful and tender spot at some point exposed to pressure; the part gradually enlarges, and there are indications of an effusion into a natural bursa or a newly formed sac. The disease sometimes proved so troublesome that amputation of the toe, or excision of the ends of the bones affected, has been resorted to.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.