You've noticed a bump has formed on the outside of your little toe and you have no idea why it's there. Very likely you have a tailor's bunion.
Like its cousin the "bunion", a tailor's bunion arises due to faulty foot structure. In this case this structure causes a misalignment of the small bones in the toe. The toe joint sticks out away from your foot while your little toe turns inward towards your other small toes. Fortunately this type of bunion is much less common than a regular bunion. A tailor's bunion is also called a bunionette because it's much smaller than the bunion that forms off the side of the big toe.
The tailor's bunion got its name from tailors who would sit cross-legged all day with the outside of edge of their feet rubbing on the ground. This led to a painful bump at the base of the little toe.
Like a regular bunion, a tailor's bunion can get worse over time and is often aggravated by wearing tight, pointy shoes with high heels.
Symptoms of a tailor's bunion include redness, swelling, numbness, and pain. Symptoms arise when the bunion rubs against your shoes causing inflammation and enlargement. These bunions can occur on both feet. Activities may be a limited as a result of the pain.
Dr. Berg will first use non-surgical treatments to bring pain relief and to prevent the tailor's bunion from getting worse. These treatments can include use of orthotics to correct the faulty foot mechanics and padding to prevent the bunion from rubbing against your shoes. Icing, steroid injections, and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the swelling, inflammation, and pain.
In addition, it's crucial that you find shoes that have a wider toe box to prevent the bunion from rubbing. It's also important to avoid high heeled and pointy shoes. Some shoes recommended by Jason Brown of Sole Perfection in Shoreline, WA are the Alegria Paloma and also the Taos Ta Dah Mary Jane both available at his store or online when you click the links above.
Surgery made be necessary if more conservative treatments don't work. Most often this will be the case if the tailor's bunion has progressed. Fortunately, most often this surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure. Some surgeries will only require removal of the painful soft tissue of the fifth toe. Others may involve cutting into the bone to straighten it.
Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.