What Is Tailor's Bunion? And How Is It Treated?

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What Is Tailor's Bunion? And How Is It Treated?

Do you have a painful, bony protrusion on the outside of your foot where your pinky toe connects? You may be suffering with a Tailor’s Bunion. Many people have heard of bunions and can recognize them as large bumps at the base of the big toe. Tailor’s bunions are a similar deformity and caused by many of the same factors. Tailor’s bunions can have just as much impact on walking and standing and cause pain just as a regular bunion. But there are options for treatment; both surgical and non-surgical. Your NYC podiatrist can diagnose and design a course of treatment to relieve your pain and correct the underlying cause.

What Is A Tailor’s Bunion?

A tailor’s bunion, also called a bunionette, is a misalignment of the bones where your small toe meets your foot. This misalignment causes a bump from the protrusion of bone and can cause your small toe to turn in towards your other toes. Over time, your small toe can even begin to shift under your other toes causing pain and impacting how you stand and walk.

What Causes A Tailor’s Bunion?

There are several factors that contribute to the development of a tailor’s bunion including:

  • Improper footwear, particularly tight and narrow shoes
  • Hereditary bone conditions
  • A fifth metatarsal that is positioned too low
  • Loose ligaments in your foot
  • Arthritis
  • Inverted foot- your foot leans to the outside
  • Tight calf muscles that impair your ability to stand and walk correctly

Tailor’s bunions do not pose a threat to your health, but they can cause mild to severe pain, impact your mobility, and affect your quality of life.

Treatment Options

There are two options for treatment of tailor’s bunions: non-surgical and surgical. Non surgical treatments are meant to slow the progression and treat the pain and discomfort of bunions, but will not correct the deformity. Surgical treatments are aimed at correcting the deformity and eliminating any pain and impairments. Bunions are a progressive condition and will inevitably become more painful over time.

Non- Surgical Treatments:

  • Suitable footwear and custom orthotics: Proper fitting shoes with a wider toe box will relieve pressure on your toe and custom orthotics can correct foot position and alignment.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: These can reduce swelling and ease pain.
  • Padding: Specially designed bunion pads can reduce friction and provide cushioning.
  • Exercise: Daily exercise to stretch your calves can alleviate tightness and aid in proper foot position.
  • Ice: Using ice packs or an ice bath can reduce swelling and provide some pain relief.

Surgical Treatments:

Your podiatrist will develop a surgical treatment strategy dependent on the severity of your bunionette. Sometimes simply removing, or “shaving”, part of the protruding bone will be enough to repair the bunionette and relieve your symptoms. But often to achieve complete correction, your surgeon will remove the protruding section of bone and reposition your small toe. Your foot surgeon will also make repairs to any supporting structures such as ligaments and tendons and may use screws to stabilize the repair.

There are three surgical methods to treat your tailor’s bunion:

  • Osteotomy: realign the position of your small toe
  • Exostectomy: removes the bunion only
  • Arthrodesis: realigns your toe joint with plates and screws

Bunion surgery can have a significant impact on your lifestyle while you heal. Many patients will opt to begin with the more conservative, non-surgical treatment options. But once your tailor’s bunion begins to cause pain that impacts your quality of life or impairs your mobility, surgery can provide relief and have you walking pain-free very quickly.

Expert Tailor’s Bunion Treatment With Our NYC Podiatrists

You do not need to live with pain and impacted movement caused by your tailor’s bunion. There are surgical and non-surgical options that can provide relief and keep you moving. If you are concerned about a bony protrusion at the place where your small toe meets your foot, or you want to explore your options for treatment of your tailor’s bunion, the team of knowledgeable and skilled podiatrists and foot surgeons at To Healthy Feet Manhattan can help.

Our expert team of NYC foot doctors can expertly assess your bunions and bunionettes and recommend the most ideal course of treatment to get you up on your feet again. We provide accurate diagnosis and comprehensive foot and ankle care and have the tools necessary to provide a variety of tailored treatment approaches at each of our Manhattan Podiatry Clinics. If you are experiencing bunion pain or suffering due to any other foot or ankle condition pain, call To Healthy Feet Podiatry at 1-917-398-3668 or fill out the contact form to book your appointment at our Upper East Side, Downtown, or Midtown locations today.


Q: What will happen if I don’t treat my tailor’s bunion?
A: If your bunion is not causing you pain or impacting your ability to move and walk you don’t necessarily need to treat it at this time. But bunions and bunionettes are progressive and neglecting treatment can lead to more painful deformities and more complex conditions down the road.

Q: If I wear better shoes will my tailor’s bunion get better?
A: Wearing proper fitting footwear can alleviate some of the symptoms and relieve the pain of a tailor’s bunion, but surgical intervention is the only way to correct the deformity.

Q: Are bunions a growth of bone?
A: Most people think that bunions are a growth of bone. While a very small amount of bone can grow, bunions are when the bone called the metatarsal falls out of alignment. Instead of being straight, it drifts out and causes a prominent bump on the side of your foot by your big (bunion) or pinky toe (bunionette).

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