Tailor’s Bunion

If you’ve ever experienced pain, swelling, and redness at your little toe’s base, you may be suffering from a tailor’s bunion. This deformity is also referred to as a bunionette and occurs when there is a prominence of the fifth metatarsal bone. Read on to learn more about tailor’s bunions, their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.


Tailor’s bunions are not as common as bunions, which occur on the inside of the foot, but they are similar in symptoms and causes. The deformity is usually caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. This structural abnormality may cause changes in the foot’s bony framework, resulting in the development of an enlargement. The fifth metatarsal bone starts to protrude outward, while the little toe moves inward. This shift creates a bump on the outside of the foot that becomes irritated whenever a shoe presses against it. Sometimes a tailor’s bunion is actually a bony spur on the side of the fifth metatarsal head.


The symptoms of tailor’s bunions include redness, swelling, and pain at the site of the enlargement. These symptoms occur when wearing shoes that rub against the enlargement, irritating the soft tissues beneath the skin and producing inflammation.


Tailor’s bunion is easily diagnosed because the protrusion on the affected area is visible. X-rays may be ordered to help the foot and ankle surgeon determine the cause and extent of the deformity.


Tailor’s bunions can be initially treated non-surgically. Your foot and ankle surgeon may choose one or more of the following therapies:

1. Shoe modifications: Choose shoes that have a wide toe box, and avoid those with pointed toes or high heels.

2. Padding: Bunionette pads placed over the tailor’s bunion may help reduce pain.

3. Oral medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help relieve the pain and inflammation.

4. Icing: An ice pack may be applied to reduce pain and inflammation. Wrap the pack in a thin towel rather than placing ice directly on your skin.

5. Injection therapy: Injections of corticosteroid may be used to treat the inflamed tissue around the joint.

6. Orthotic devices: In some cases, custom orthotic devices may be provided by the foot and ankle surgeon.

When to Consider Surgery

Surgery is often considered when pain continues despite non-surgical treatments. In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your case, the foot and ankle surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the X-ray findings, your age, activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

Dr Gilbert Huang DPM

It’s essential to see a foot and ankle surgeon if you’re experiencing symptoms that indicate you have a tailor’s bunion. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a foot and ankle surgeon with extensive experience in treating foot and ankle conditions, including tailor’s bunions. Dr Huang is dedicated to providing personalized treatment to his patients to ensure optimal outcomes. You can rest assured that you’ll receive the best care possible at Gilbert Huang, DPM.


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