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Footnotes / Blog

Bunionettes (Tailor’s Bunion)

Sunday, November 5th, 2017 Elizabeth Anthony

What is a Tailor’s bunion?

A Tailor’s bunion  (bunionette) is a prominence of the fifth metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe. The prominence that characterizes a tailor’s bunion occurs at the metatarsal “head,” located at the far end of the bone where it meets the toe.

Causes

Patient’s often notice that other people in their family have tailor’s bunions as well. This is because it is an inherited “foot-type” that causes bunionettes.  The fifth metatarsal bone starts to protrude outward, while the little toe moves inward. This creates a bump on the outside of the foot that becomes irritated whenever a shoe presses against it.

In some instances, a tailor’s bunion is actually a bony spur (an outgrowth of bone) on the side of the fifth metatarsal head.

Diagnosis
Tailor’s bunion is easily diagnosed because the protrusion is visually apparent. X-rays are usually taken to help the doctor determine the cause and extent of the bony deformity.

Conservative Treatment
Treatment usually begins with non-surgical therapies. Your foot and ankle surgeon may select one or more of the following:

  • Shoegear modifications: Choose shoes that have a wide toe box, try avoiding those with pointed toes or high heels.
  • Padding: Bunionette pads placed over the area may reduce pain.
  • Oral medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help relieve the pain and inflammation.
  • Icing: An ice pack may be applied to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Injection therapy: Injections of corticosteroid may be used to treat the inflamed tissue around the joint.
  • Orthotics: In some cases, custom orthotic devices may be provided by the foot and ankle surgeon.

Surgical Treatment
Surgery is often considered when pain continues after all conservative treatment is exhausted. In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your case, the  surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the x-ray findings, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period varies depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

 

If you would like to be treated for a tailor’s bunion, visit one of our four New Jersey Offices. Dr. Kaufman, Dr. Rallatos, Dr. Visperas, Dr. Gonzales and Dr. Anthony are all trained in conservative and surgical treatment of Tailor’s bunions.