A tailor’s bunion also called a bunionette, is a close relative of a regular bunion—the painful, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. The difference is that a tailor’s bunion forms on the outside of the foot, at the base of the little toe.
The name “tailor’s bunion” is ascribed to the old-word notion that tailors often assumed a cross-legged position while sewing, putting pressure on the outside of their foot. Such chronic pressure was said to be the culprit in the formation of the characteristic bump on their little toe.
Let’s learn more about a tailor’s bunion: its exact causes, signs, and symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, and why you should see a podiatrist for it.
A tailor’s bunion is triggered by any of the same conditions that causes the formation of regular bunions: arthritis, foot misalignment, heredity, or wearing poorly fitting shoes.
None of these conditions may cause any pain at first, but when you start to develop that bump on the side of your foot, it becomes more difficult to wear tight shoes. When left unaddressed, a tailor’s bunion can become extremely painful.
For people who are genetically predisposed to bunions, wearing ill-fitting shoes can significantly trigger the development of a tailor’s bunion.
Signs and Symptoms
The characteristic bony protuberance—which develops over the side of the fifth metatarsal bone (the bone that connects your small toe to your ankle)—can increase in size over time, causing the following discomforts:
Diagnosis and Treatment
Tailor’s bunions look very similar to gout or a cyst, so it’s easy to mistake them as such. An accurate diagnosis is, therefore, imperative for appropriate treatment.
While tailor’s bunions can be treated by an orthopedic doctor, your best bet is to see a podiatrist, who specializes in the treatment of conditions affecting the foot or ankle. A podiatrist will perform the following diagnostic process to confirm or rule out a tailor’s bunion:
- Physical examination
- Medical and family history assessment
- X-ray of the affected foot
Once a podiatrist confirms a diagnosis and determines the severity of the condition, they can recommend any of the following treatments:
- Padding and Taping (usually the first-line treatment) – Padding your bunion minimizes the pain and allows for normal function, whereas taping it helps put the foot in a normal position and reduces the stress
- Prescription medications for pain management
- Orthotic devices (shoe inserts)
- Shoe modifications
- Surgery- This the last option a podiatrist will recommend. It is not always suggested, unless the tailor’s bunion begins to affect a person’s quality of life.
Top-Notch Podiatric Services in St. Charles County, MO
Here at the Advanced Bone and Joint Center, we provide comprehensive, high-quality care for a wide range of foot and ankle conditions, including a tailor’s bunion.
To arrange a consultation with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Anthony Lombardo, you may contact us through (636) 229-4222 or conveniently request an appointment online.