A bunion is an abnormal growth that appears on the joint at the base of your big toe. It’s caused when your big toe pushes up against your other toes, forcing the big toe joint in the opposite direction, away and to the inside of your foot. Over time, the stress enlarges your big toe joint, pushing the big toe even further against your smaller toes and causing significant pain.
A Tailor’s Bunion is similar to a bunion, but appears on the opposite side of your foot. It’s formed for the same reasons a bunion is – inherited foot structure aggravated by footwear – but it affects the joint at the base of your small toe where it joins your foot.
Specifically, a Tailor’s bunion, also called a bunionette, is a prominence of the fifth metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe. That is, the rounded end of the bone slowly moves away from the foot.
A Bunionette is not always painful. Just like a bunion, it usually develops slowly over a number of years, in one or both feet, and becomes acute in middle age. If it gets large enough, it can be quite troublesome, especially when shoes are too tight and rub against the bunionette, or if high heels are worn, shifting the body weight and pressure to the front of the foot. Typically, a callus also develops on the bottom outside of the small toe joint, which can also be quite painful and sore.
If you’re developing a Tailor’s Bunion
- See a podiatrist so that he or she can create a baseline and monitor your condition. Surgery is usually not indicated in the early stages.
- Wear appropriate shoes – pointy toe boxes and high heels should be removed from your shoe rotation, as these will make the bunion worse and create significant pain. Wear athletic shoes as often as possible and flats for business attire.
- Use padding or a silicone bunion guard (available over the counter) inside your shoes. This will offer some protection against the shoe rubbing and causing the Tailor’s bunion to become irritated.
- Ice the bunionette for 10 minutes three times per day.
- Use ibuprofen (advil) to control the pain and soreness.
When is surgery indicated for a Tailor’s Bunion?
Only your podiatrist can tell you when bunion surgery is necessary. As every person’s condition is unique, there are a number of surgical procedures that may be most effective for your condition.
Dr. Adam Teichman of PA Foot and Ankle Associates performs a bunionectomy on a patient with a Tailor’s Bunion. Dr. Teichman narrates.