Bunions are painful, unsightly, and can diminish your quality of life. This is true whether this chronic toe condition develops on the inside of your foot near your big toe or the outside of your foot near the little toe. If you have a bunion that fits into this latter category, you are suffering from what’s called a tailor’s bunion.
What Is a Tailor’s Bunion?
Also called a bunionette, a tailor’s bunion appears on the outside of the foot at the base of the fifth metatarsal in the little toe. That toe has three phalanx bones. As such, a tailor’s bunion forms three joints down form the top of the toe on the outer side of the foot, causing the bone to protrude from the metatarsophalangeal joint and point inward towards the neighboring fourth toe, just like the big toe points inward when a bunion develops.
Many people develop tailor’s bunions because they are genetically predisposed to them For other people, more often women, wearing shoes with a narrow, pointed toe box can push their toes into an unnatural position and put extreme pressure on the toe joint. Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can also cause tailor’s bunions.
Symptoms of a Tailor’s Bunion
You will be able to both see and feel a tailor’s bunion as it develops. If left untreated, the symptoms will likely get worse. Those symptoms typically include:
- Pain: The bump created by a tailor’s bunion can increase in size over time, thus increasing pain caused by closed-toe footwear. The constant rubbing of the bump against the shoe can also cause the area to become red and irritated, sometimes even leading to a callus.
- Swelling: Adding to the pain and discomfort of wearing shoes, a tailor’s bunion may also make the effected foot wider. This happens because of a gradual separation of the fifth metatarsal bone from the fourth metatarsal bone that lies next to it
- Redness: The painful area of the foot may become inflamed from pressure and rubbing from shoes on the bony bump.
To diagnose a tailor’s bunion, a podiatrist will conduct a thorough physical examination of the patient’s foot, including its structure and biomechanics. X-rays will confirm the diagnosis and give the doctor a clear picture of the extent of the problem.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options for tailor’s bunions. Conservative treatment can include at-home remedies and lifestyle changes such as looser fitting footwear, custom orthotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and pressure.
If these approaches don’t adequately address the issue, your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
Advancements in medical technology and technique have made relief from tailor’s bunion pain easier and more accessible than ever before. Minimally invasive bunion surgery, like we regularly perform at CDA Foot & Ankle Clinic, has been a game-changer in the treatment of this common foot condition.
Our surgeons, well-known and widely respected for their leadership in the advancement of minimally invasive surgery, use specially designed and ultra-precise surgical instruments and devices, along with an advanced imaging system called a fluoroscope, to see inside the affected area without needing to make large incisions. We then remove your bunion, realign the bone, and shift it over. No internal hardware is required.
In minimally invasive bunion surgery, we can rely on external fixation in the form of a compression dressing and postoperative surgical footwear to stabilize the foot immediately following surgery, eliminating the need for hardware and casting of the foot or crutches. Patients can walk right after the surgery, wearing a surgical shoe or boot.
Living With The Pain of a Tailor’s Bunion? Schedule Your Appointment With Coeur d’Alene Foot and Ankle Clinic Today.
At Coeur d’Alene Foot and Ankle Clinic and Surgery Center, our experienced and dedicated team of physicians, surgeons, and staff provide exceptional care and treatment for all foot and ankle problems, including tailor’s bunions. We offer the most advanced corrective surgical procedures and specialize in the Isham minimally invasive surgery techniques recognized by orthopedic and podiatric surgeons worldwide.
Call us today at (208) 666-0605 to schedule your appointment.