SUMMARY: Ever heard of tailor’s bunions? Anyone can have it! Find out if the bump near your little toe is a tailor’s bunion and how you can treat it.
Do you see a small bump jutting out of the base of your little toe? That is what you call tailor’s bunion or a bunionette. Tailor’s bunions are not as common as bunions, but they have similar causes and symptoms.
It is called a tailor’s bunion because tailors long ago sat all day with their legs crossed. The foot’s outer edge would rub on the ground while they are in this position. The constant rubbing would eventually cause a painful bump to appear at the base of the little toe.
What causes a tailor’s bunion to appear?
A tailor’s bunion or a bunionette is often caused by an inherited faulty foot structure. In this case, changes happen in the foot’s bones, which leads to the enlargement at the base of the little toe. The fifth metatarsal bone begins to protrude while the little toe shifts inward. This movement creates the small bump that becomes irritated whenever it is pressed against a shoe.
What are its symptoms?
Tailor’s bunions are painful. Its other symptoms include redness and swelling. The symptoms are felt when wearing shoes that rub against the bunionette, as the shoes irritate the soft tissues beneath the skin and cause inflammation.
How are tailor’s bunions diagnosed?
A tailor’s bunion is easy to diagnose since the protrusion can be seen. Your doctor may also order an X-ray examination in order to identify the cause of the problem and determine the extent of the deformity.
How are bunionettes treated?
Like other foot problems and deformities, you have a lot of options when it comes to treating a tailor’s bunion. You can begin with nonsurgical treatments, which your doctor may recommend to you.
The first thing you should do if you have a bunionette is to modify your footwear. You need big toe box shoes that will not cause pain and further inflammation. It is also important to avoid wearing shoes that have pointed toes or those with high heels.
You can take over-the-counter oral medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. A gel bunionette pad can also be placed over the affected area to help minimize pain.
Apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation and pain. You can wrap the ice pack in a towel instead of placing it directly on your skin. Your doctor may also advise you to make use of orthotic devices to relieve pain and help correct the alignment of your toes. In some cases, your doctor may inject corticosteroids to treat inflamed tissues that surround the joint.
When is surgery required?
Although there are several nonsurgical treatment options available, there are instances when surgery is needed. Your doctor may recommend surgery if pain persists despite applying different pain relief measures. The extent of the deformity, as well as your age, activity level and X-ray results, will be taken into consideration when preparing for surgery. Your doctor will choose a procedure or a combination of procedures that suits your case. The length of recovery will vary, depending on the type of surgery performed.
A tailor’s bunion is often inherited, but anyone can still have it. To prevent bunionettes and other foot problems, it is best to wear comfortable shoes and make use of different foot care products. It won’t take too much time and effort, yet it will go a long way in helping you have healthy, strong feet.