Tailors Bunion (Bunionette):Causes and Treatment Options

A bunionette is a little bump at the base of the little toe at the fifth metatarsal joint. It will show up at this spot on the outside of the little toe.

You may call this bunion a “pinky toe bunion” or “Tailors Bunionor”. The development of a bunionette is very similar to the development of a bunion on the big toe. And it can eventually cause just as much pain.

The fact is that shoes that give your forefoot plenty of room are extremely important to the prevention of bunions. Your toes are not supposed to be squeezed tightly together. In our western society, women favor shoes that do exactly that. Of course, men’s shoes do not do that or rather don’t to nearly the same degree. This is why the prevalence of bunions is so much higher in women than in men; some estimates say as much as 10 times higher.

In addition, the same hereditary issues such as flat feet can lead to the development of a tailor’s bunion as well as one on the big toe. These hereditary issues, which should be discussed with a foot specialist, present a tendency or likelihood for the development of this disorder, making it doubly important that shoes with sufficient room are always worn.

A woman may be born with a certain foot structure that predisposes her to develop bunions, but she may go through her whole life without experiencing any foot problems at all. But if as an adult she wears too-tight shoes too much of the time, a bunion is very likely to develop.

If you are experiencing any kind of redness, swelling, tenderness, or pain around the small toe, especially at the metatarsal joint at the base of the little toe, you may very well have a bunionette.

For some people, a bunionette isn’t really a problem if they are going barefoot (although how often does anyone do that, except at home), or if they wear wide sandals that are open around the toes. But it isn’t always practical to wear sandals, is it? Most of the time, you just need to wear regular shoes. And when you do so, pinky toe pain can be a dull ache that you try to ignore, or it can be an intense pain that is impossible to ignore.

Unfortunately, just like bunions on the big toe, bunionettes or tailor’s bunions are a progressive deformity, meaning that they will only get worse over time if not attended to. They do not go away by themselves.

This means that have to take protective measures for your feet right away if you suspect the development of a bunion, no matter which toe it is on. Failing to do so can not only make your foot pain worse, but can aggravate your condition and make it progress faster.

Home Treatment for Tailor’s Bunion

1. Arch Supports

In order to transfer al the weight from the pinky toe, use arch supports. One of the best we have found in the market for this specific purpose is the FootChair Orthotics with Pads for Adjustable Arch Height.

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The main purpose of an orthotic insole is to improve the foot function and in many cases it will reduce pain and will help prevent future problems and injury.

2. Bunionette Corrector

This gel pads slightly separate the pinky toe with 4th toe. They offer some form of relief by streightening and aligning the small to back to its natural state.

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The next product that we found useful is the YogaToes GEMS. These gel pads separate all the toes and relaxes the muscles after a tiresome day using your feet.

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3. Ice Pack

To soothe your pain, you could chose to use ice packs for 5 to 10 minutes everyday. These packs offer therapeutic relief for your Bunnionnete pain. These packs are reusable and can be used for hot or cold therapy.

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4. Use a Topical Pain Reliever

If pain persists during the day, we recommend you choose the Biofreeze Pain Relief roll on. The formula penetrates deep to the sore bones and muscles for instant relief.

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5. Buy Shoes with Wide ToeBox

Shoes with a wide toebox gave the pinky space and no contact is made with the shoe. Orthofeet stretch shoes are another option if you’re uncomfortable with wide shoes.

Wide Width Shoes

6. Stretch your shoes

If youre not in a possition to get new shoes to accomodate the pinky toe deformity, then you can choose to stretch your shoes. Watch this video instructions on how to stretch your shoes.

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Medication

If the measures described at the beginning of this article do not provide the pain relief you need, your doctor may prescribe oral anti-inflammatory medications or injections of corticosteroids into the toe. Injections of corticosteroids are not a pleasant experience, but if you are at this point, you will want to try everything before resorting to foot surgery.

If changing shoes is not an adequate solution, and protective guards, cushions, or medications do not provide enough help and relief, then bunion surgery will be the next option to seriously consider.

Bunion surgery, whether for a bunion on your big toe or on your pinky toe, is also known as a “bunionectomy,” which literally means the surgical removal of a bunion.

Surgery for a tailor’s bunion is similar to a regular bunionectomy. Also, the same concerns apply for recovery for a bunionette as they do for surgery for a big toe bunion. Keeping the foot elevated and the swelling down with ice will be essential, or your recovery from surgery could be extended to several months.

Where Did the Name “Tailor’s Bunion” Come From?

The name “tailor’s bunion” is derived from the Renaissance era which began in the early 1400s in Europe. This dynamic period saw the beginnings of the fashion industry as we know it today.

Before this time, only the very highest levels of society had the luxury of viewing clothes as adornment and not just as protection from the elements. The growth of the upper and middle classes during the Renaissance and the creative explosion that characterized this era resulted in the development of the occupation of a tailor, or one who sewed patterns of cloth into clothes.

Before this time, clothes were sewn only in homes by the females living there, but the Renaissance saw the rise of a profession of a tailor, who did nothing but sew clothes for other people to purchase. The typical position of tailors was to sit cross-legged on the floor of a shop for long periods of time while they worked. The outside of their feet would be rubbed on the floor (with their little toes pushed against the fourth toes) so intensely that bumps – bunions – developed.

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