Orthopaedic Procedures | Bunionette (Tailor's Bunion)

It is sometimes referred to as a "tailor's bunion" due to the fact that tailors once sat cross legged all day with the outside of their feet rubbing on the ground. This produced a pressure area and callus at the base of the fifth toe.

 

A bunionette is similar to a bunion but on the outside edge or lateral side of the foot. Today a bunionette is most likely caused by an abnormal prominence over the fifth metatarsal head rubbing on shoes that are too narrow. Some folks have a widening of the foot as they grow older until the foot spreads or "splays." The symptoms of a bunionette include pain and difficulty buying shoes that will accommodate the deformity.

 

X-rays may help to determine the extent of the Treatment is very similar to that of a bunion deformity. Anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful in the early stages. Shoes that have a wider toe box and a lower heel often resolve the problem after a few weeks. Small pads or the generous use of lamb's wool to pad the deformity can decrease the irritation. If all else fails, your surgeon may recommend surgery.

 

Surgery involves removing the prominence along the metatarsal bone and tightening the soft- tissue structures to straighten the 5th toe. Sometimes a reverse Scarf osteotomy viz. oblique cut in the bone and fixation with a screw is necessary to reduce the bony prominence and correct the deformity.