You may have heard of bunions, which sometimes pop up at the base of the big toe joint, but what is a bunionette? Bunionettes, also known as tailor’s bunions, are small, bony bumps that occur at the base of the pinky toe joints. Much like regular bunions, bunionettes can be painful, swollen, and red. Finding comfortable shoes that don’t rub up against the affected area may be difficult. Without treatment, bunionettes usually worsen over time. Fortunately, conservative treatments such as wearing wider shoes, a toe spacer, padding, and activity modifications, are often effective in managing the condition. Surgery to correct a bunionette may be beneficial for a smaller percentage of people. To learn more about bunionettes and what treatment methods are best for you, please consult with a podiatrist.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts