Bunionette Deformity (Tailor’s Bunion)

Overview

This bony bump forms on the outer side of the foot at the base of the fifth toe. Like a traditional bunion, a bunionette can be sore and painful. The skin covering the bump can become red and irritated.

Causes

A bunionette is typically caused by footwear. High heel shoes and shoes with pointed toes are common culprits, because they place constant pressure on the toes and cause them to misalign. Bunionettes can also develop because of congenital structural problems of the foot.

How it forms

A bunionette forms gradually as the base of the fifth toe becomes partially dislocated. The toe turns inward, exposing the head of the metatarsal to the outer side of the foot. The head of this bone is then subjected to constant pressure from footwear, and this pressure causes a bony bump to form.

Symptoms

The most obvious symptom of a bunionette is a bony prominence at the base of the fifth toe. The skin at the bunionette may be thickened and calloused, and the bump may be tender and painful. A person who has a bunionette may have trouble finding comfortable shoes.

Treatment

Bunionettes can often be treated without surgery. A person with a bunionette may be encouraged to avoid wearing shoes that place stress on the toes. Pads can be worn on the outer side of the foot to help relieve pressure and cushion the foot. If these options are not effective, surgery may be needed to remove the bunionette and to realign the toe.

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