A bunionette is a little bump at the base of the little toe at the fifth metatarsal joint. It will show up at this spot on the outside of the little toe.
You may call this bunion a “pinky toe bunion” or “Tailors Bunionor.” The development of a bunionette is very similar to the development of a bunion on the big toe. And it can eventually cause just as much pain.
The fact is that shoes that give your forefoot plenty of room are essential to preventing bunions. Your toes are not supposed to be squeezed tightly together. In our western society, women favor shoes that do precisely that. Of course, men’s shoes do not do that or don’t to nearly the same degree.
The prevalence of bunions is so much higher in women than in men. Some estimates say as much as ten times higher.
In addition, the exact hereditary issues such as flat feet can lead to the development of a tailor’s bunion and one on the big toe. These genetic issues, which should be discussed with a foot specialist, present a tendency or likelihood of developing this disorder, making it doubly important that shoes with sufficient room are always worn.
A woman may be born with a particular foot structure that predisposes her to develop bunions, but she may go through her whole life without experiencing any foot problems. But if she wears too-tight shoes too much of the time as an adult, a bunion is very likely to develop.
Suppose you are experiencing any redness, swelling, tenderness, or pain around the small toe, especially at the metatarsal joint at the base of the little toe. In that case, you may very well have a bunionette.
Is a Tailor’s Bunion Always a problem?
For some people, a bunionette isn’t a problem if they are going barefoot (although how often does anyone do that, except at home) or if they wear wide sandals that are open around the toes. But it isn’t always practical to wear sandals. Most of the time, you need to wear regular shoes.
And when you do so, pinky toe pain can be a dull ache that you try to ignore, or it can be an intense pain that is impossible to ignore.
Unfortunately, just like bunions on the big toe, bunionettes or tailor’s bunions are a progressive deformity, meaning that they will only get worse over time if not attended to. They do not go away by themselves.
This means that you have to take protective measures for your feet right away if you suspect the development of a bunion, no matter which toe it is on. Failing to do so can make your foot pain worse, aggravate your condition, and progress faster.
Home Treatment for Tailor’s Bunion
1. Arch Supports
Use arch supports to transfer the weight from the pinky toe. One of the best we have found in the market for this specific purpose is the FootChair Orthotics with Pads for Adjustable Arch Height.
- ADJUSTABLE ARCH HEIGHT: Are standard inserts too low?...
- CUSTOMIZED FIT, OVER-THE-COUNTER PRICE - FOR SHOES WITH...
- SUPPORTS, CUSHIONS AND PROTECTS the heel, arch and...
The primary purpose of an orthotic insole is to improve foot function, and in many cases, it will reduce pain and help prevent future problems and injury.
2. Bunionette Corrector
These gel pads slightly separate the pinky toe with 4th toe. They offer relief by straightening and aligning the small to back to its natural state.
- 6 SPACER PADS (One size fits most feet. See size guide...
- RELIEF TO BUNIONETTE: Soft gel pad provides cushion....
- HIGH QUALITY GEL: Sleeves are made from high quality...
The following product that we found helpful is the YogaToes GEMS. These gel pads separate all the toes and relax the muscles after a tiresome day using your feet.
3. Ice Pack
To soothe your pain, you could choose to use ice packs for 5 to 10 minutes every day. These packs offer therapeutic relief for your Bunnionnete pain. These packs are reusable and can be used for hot or cold therapy.
- Comfortable Pain Relief – These adjustable hot and...
- Hot or Cold Compress – Trek Proof medical-grade gel...
- Improved Recovery – Along with general aches and...
4. Use a Topical Pain Reliever
If pain persists during the day, we recommend you choose the Biofreeze Pain Relief roll-on. The formula penetrates deep into the sore bones and muscles for instant relief.
- #1 Clinically Recommended: Trusted by pharmacists,...
- Unique cooling menthol formula is backed by science and...
- Trusted by some of the world's best athletes and...
5. Buy Shoes with Wide ToeBox
Shoes with a wide toebox gave the pinky space, and no contact is made with the shoe. Orthofeet stretch shoes are another option if you’re uncomfortable with wide shoes.
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6. Stretch your shoes
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Created from cast iron, strength...
- BUNION STRETCHING: Formed through the casting process,...
- TARGETED USAGE: The Ball and Ring Shoe Stretcher or we...
Suppose the measures described at the beginning of this article do not provide the pain relief you need. In that case, your doctor may prescribe oral anti-inflammatory medications or injections of corticosteroids into the toe. Injections of corticosteroids are not a pleasant experience, but if you are at this point, you will want to try everything before resorting to foot surgery.
Related post: Exercises for bunions
If changing shoes is not an adequate solution, and protective guards, cushions, or medications do not provide enough help and relief, then bunion surgery will be the following option to seriously consider.
Bunion surgery, whether for a bunion on your big toe or your pinky toe, is also known as a “bunionectomy,” which means the surgical removal of a bunion.
Surgery for a tailor’s bunion is similar to a regular bunionectomy. Keeping the foot elevated and the swelling down with ice will be essential, or your recovery from surgery could be extended to several months. Also, the same concerns apply for recovery for a bunionette as they do for surgery for a big toe bunion.
Where Did the Name “Tailor’s Bunion” Come From?
The name “tailor’s bunion” is derived from the Renaissance era, which began in the early 1400s in Europe. This busy period saw the beginnings of the fashion industry as we know it today.
Before this time, only the highest levels of society had the luxury of viewing clothes as adornment and not just as protection from the elements. The growth of the upper and middle classes during the Renaissance and the creative explosion that characterized this era resulted in the development of the occupation of a tailor, or one who sewed patterns of cloth into clothes.
Before this time, clothes were sewn only in homes by the females living there, but the Renaissance saw the rise of a profession of a tailor, who did nothing but sew clothes for other people to purchase.
The typical position of tailors was to sit cross-legged on a shop floor for long periods while they worked. The outside of their feet would be rubbed on the floor (with their little toes pushed against the fourth toes) so intensely that bumps – bunions – developed.