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Lahey Health is now part of Beth Israel Lahey Health

by EBSCO Medical Review Board
(Tailor’s Bunion)

Definition

A bunionette is a painful lump at the base of the 5th toe. Over time, it causes the tip of the little toe to turn toward the other toes. Early treatment can improve outcomes.

Causes

Pressure to the area causes a bunionette. The most common cause is tight shoes that squeeze the toes. This is common in pointy shoes or those with a small toe box.

Bone spurs can also develop on the toe joint. The irritation from the bone spur can cause a bunionette.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in women and older adults. It is also more common in people who have other family members with it. Genetics can cause bigger bone growth in this area. Bigger bones mean more pressure with shoes.

Symptoms

A bunionette is a red, swollen, and painful bump at the base of the 5th toe. The pain may be worse when wearing tight shoes.

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the foot. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to ease pressure on the bunionette and prevent it from getting worse. Options are:

Supportive Care

It is important to ease pressure on the bunion. This may be done with:

  • Ice therapy to ease pain and swelling
  • Padding
  • Wearing shoes with a wide toe box
  • Not wearing shoes with pointy toes or high heels
  • Shoe inserts

Medicine

Medicine may be given to ease pain and swelling.

Surgery

People who are not helped by other methods may need surgery to remove the bony lump. The bones may need to be lined up again once the bump is removed.

Prevention

Some foot structure may be more likely to have problems than others. Proper fitting shoes may delay or prevent bunionette.

RESOURCES

American Podiatric Medical Association  https://www.apma.org 

OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons  https://www.orthoinfo.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada  https://www.canada.ca 

Ontario Podiatric Medical Association  https://www.opma.ca 

References

Bunionette deformity correction. FootCareMD—American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society website. Available at: https://www.footcaremd.org/conditions-treatments/toes/bunionette-deformity-correction . Accessed May 17, 2021.

Bunions and bunionettes. Harvard Health Publishing website. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/bunions-and-bunionettes-overview . Accessed May 17, 2021.

Hallux valgus and bunion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hallux-valgus-and-bunion . Accessed May 17, 2021.

Tailor’s bunion (bunionette). Foot Health Facts—American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/tailor-s-bunion-(bunionette). Accessed May 17, 2021.

Revision Information