Bunionette

Definitions:

A bunionette, also known as a Tailor’s bunion, is a condition where a prominence develops on the fifth metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe.  Bunionettes are not as common as bunions, which occur on the inside of the foot.  The causes and symptoms, however, are very similar.  The condition is caused by inheritance factor, as well as other factors.  For example, the prominence may be cause by a bone spur.

Signs and Symptoms:

In addition to the bump or prominence of the bunionette, symptoms include pain. This pain is especially felt with constant rubbing, such as the pressure from wearing a shoe.  This rubbing irritates the soft tissu underneath the skin which produces inflammation.  As a result, the bunionette is usually accompanied by swelling and redness.

Diagnosis:

With the obvious bump or prominence of the fifth metatarsal, a bunionette  is easily diagnosed by a foot and ankle doctor.  X-rays may be taken to help the doctor determine the cause and extent of the problem.

Treatment:

Dr. Westermeyer has many treatment options available and will choose the method that is best suited to the condition and the patient’s lifestyle.  To help relieve the symptoms, one or more of the following suggestions and or treatments may be used:

  • Choosing shoes with a wider toe box.
  • Placing padding over the bunionette to relieve pain
  • Oral medications, such as ibuprofen, to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Applying ice to the area.
  • Custom othotic devices for the foot to relieve pressure on the affected area.
  • Injection therapy. Injections of corticosteroid may help to reduce the inflamed tissue around the joint.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, please come in and visit Encinitas foot doctor, Dr. Westermeyer, to determine the severity of the condition and to learn about the treatment options available to you.