A bunionette deformity, or a tailor’s bunion, is a bump at the base of the little toe, on the fifth metatarsal bone. Bunionettes are not as common as regular bunions, but they can also become large and more painful over time. The name tailor’s bunion comes from the historic fact that they often occurred among tailors who sat with their legs crossed on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
Just like with regular bunions, the exact cause of bunionettes is not known, but this foot condition can be made worse by wearing tight, uncomfortable shoes. People who have wider feet or bent little toes are also more likely to experience this condition. This foot deformity can also be hereditary.
The symptoms of bunionettes include pain around the bump on the outside of the foot, and inflamed, swollen, painful skin. If not treated, the condition becomes worse over time.
There are a number of treatment options for tailor’s bunion, including:
- choosing wider shoes with a small, or no heel
- incorporating toe spacers or shoe inserts
- painkillers and anti-inflammatory agents
- corticosteroid injections
If the pain becomes unbearable, or if the bump increases to a point where a patient cannot wear comfortable shoes, surgery may be required. The surgical procedure, known as tailor’s bunion surgery, is the only way to remove the bump and narrow the foot. The surgery is an outpatient procedure, which allows for the patient to leave the hospital on the same day.
Based on the symptoms and an X-ray scan, Dr. Benjamin Tehrani, a skilled and experienced podiatric surgeon, can determine and propose the best treatment option for the patient’s specific condition.