Treating a Tailor’s Bunion

by Mother Huddle Staff
Treating a Tailors Bunion

Out of all the foot problems that people can have, bunions are one of the most annoying and painful — and also the most common. Up to one out of three people actually have at least one bunion (or will). While there are several types of bunions, a tailor’s bunion (also known as a bunionette) can be particularly troublesome. If you are suffering from this type of bunion, then tailors bunion surgery might be an option.

What Is A Tailors Bunion?

A tailor’s bunion is a growth that extends from the side of the foot closest to the fifth (pinky) toe. Despite what some people may think, this type of bunion does not occur because of calcium deposits and it is not an extraneous bone growth. Tailors bunions are actually part of the metatarsal bone that slowly spread out from the outer edge of the foot.

If you look at the outside of your foot, you’ll notice that there is a slightly rounded edge near the pinky toe. This is the spot where a tailor’s bunion can develop.

What Causes A Tailors Bunion To Develop?

Sometimes, people are born with a genetic predisposition toward developing a tailor’s bunion. When young, these types of bunions don’t usually cause annoyance or pain. In fact, they are not usually notable until a person is much older.

Typically, the condition progresses slowly. By the time a person is in their 40s, the bunion may have grown large enough to become very noticeable and cause a lot of irritation (or pain). In some cases, the bunion can become prominent prior to middle age. It is also possible for a Tailor’s bunion to happen on one or both feet.

As a tailor’s bunion becomes larger over time, the site can become more agitated when a person wears shoes that are too narrow. However, a person may not notice the extent of deformity until the bunion has become so large that it is impossible to ignore. So, one pair of shoes that were once comfortable can eventually become a major irritant to the bunion.

Relieving Pain and Irritation from Tailor’s Bunions

As every person is different, so is every tailor’s bunion. Some people suffering from these bunions may not experience a lot of irritation or pain because the growth stays relatively small. However, other people may deal with enough pain or irritation that it becomes intrusive in their daily lives.

Some people try to deal with pain from tailor’s bunions in non-surgical ways. These include:

  • Padding: some people use cushioning to create a more comfortable space within the shoe, such as bunion pads.
  • Different shoes: People suffering from these bunions may sometimes purchase shoes that have a wider width to allow extra space between the shoe and the bunion.
  • Exercises: Stretching exercises that elongate the foot and leg muscles can sometimes reduce bunion pain.
  • Ice Treatment: individuals may choose to apply an ice pack to the bunion for certain time intervals to alleviate pain.
  • OTC Pain Medication: People may also choose to take something like ibuprofen to reduce swelling and relieve pain from the bunion.

While these methods may work for some, others may have no choice but to explore surgical options to treat a tailor’s bunion. The best way to determine whether or not a tailor’s bunion surgery is right for you is by having a certified foot and ankle specialist assess the condition.

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