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What is a Bunionette?

Bunions on feet are bony prominences at the base of the big toe. Bunions on the outside of the foot, at the base of the little toe, is called a bunionette, or tailors bunion.

A bunionette is a visible deformity, an enlargement of the outer part of the joint. It results from the movement of the little toe inward, toward the other toes, as may happen, for example, when tight shoes are worn. The pressure on the little toe caused by this crowding not only forces the toe inward, it puts pressure on the toe joint to move outward, where it presses and rubs against the shoe, eventually resulting in a bunionette.

What are the causes of Bunions on Feet?

Bunionettes and bunions are caused over time (even several years) by abnormal pressure and rubbing on the toe joint. A major cause is wearing shoes that are too tight and that tend to squeeze the toes together. "Tailor's bunions" are much more common in women than in men (from wearing high heels), but any shoes that are pointed can cause the condition.

Contributing factors include type of occupation and birth defects or other medical conditions such as arthritis that may cause or contribute to abnormal foot motion. Heredity may also play a role.

What are some of the symptoms of Bunionettes?

A bunionette is a lump that is a visible deformity. Over time, this lump is subject to increased pressure and rubbing against the shoe, forming a callous. Eventually this can become irritated and painful, causing pain that makes walking and standing difficult. Corns may develop, and abnormalities may develop in the other toes as well. Finding shoes that one can stand to walk in can also be a challenge.

Bunionette Treatment

Bunion treatment without surgery may include one or more of the following:

  • Roomier or specially constructed shoes
  • Orthotics (inserts) for the shoes
  • Bunionette pad to reduce pressure and rubbing
  • Other devices for the foot and shoe, such as a bunion splint, attempt to correct the deforming forces
  • Resting and elevating the foot
  • Taking anti-inflammatory and pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen

If these methods fail then bunion removal surgery may be suggested. A Bunionectomy may involve realignment of the bones of the foot as well as the use of a joint implant. Full recovery may take up to eight weeks following surgery.

The information provided here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a licensed physician.

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