There are many theories as to why a bunion would form, but the exact cause is unknown. A bunionette (also known as a Tailor’s Bunion) is a smaller bunion that can develop on the joint of your little toe. Treatment of a bunionette should always remain non-surgically focused until the last option, which is why I created this guide on How to Treat a Bunionette.
Who gets a bunionette?
If you’ve ever had a bunion, you know that they are extremely painful. A bunion is a bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. A bunion happens when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out, leaving the skin on top red and sore.
Bunions and bunionettes can result from heredity or arthritis, but most are a result of improper footwear. Women with pointy high-heeled shoes or men (and women) with slim pointed cowboy boots are victims of this. The causes are typically extrinsic, thus giving its name. The name Tailor’s Bunion comes from the fact that tailors used to get them from their posture while working.
How To Treat A Bunionette Non-Surgically
Unfortunately, you cannot totally eliminate a bunion without surgical means. However, there are steps you can take to improve your quality of life with a bunion or bunionette.
Choice of Shoes
Your choice of shoes can create a huge impact on your feet. Shoes that are too tight can rub against the bones in your feet and, over time, can either form or aggravate your bunion or bunionette. It’s recommended to wear wide fitting shoes to allow space and reduce the friction on the bone.
Additionally, If you have a bunion or bunionette, wearing cushioning in the sole of your shoes can prevent unnecessary impact on your bones and gives comfort to the foot. Consider adding extra protection to the soles of your shoes with a protective pad made of fleece or silicone gel.
When you choose to meet with an orthopedic surgeon, you harbor the benefit of discussing all non-surgical opportunities including medicines to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Your orthopedic surgeon will either prescribe medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to have the pain be a little more bearable.
Additional Home Remedies
Your orthopedic surgeon may suggest you ice the affected foot three to four times a day for 10-minute increments. Elevating the feet can also help to reduce any swelling.
Your orthopedic surgeon may also suggest arch support insoles that relieve the pressure from your bunion or bunionette, as well as suggest toe separators to use while you’re sleeping. Toe separators can work to halt the progression of a bunion or bunionette over time.
Lastly, your orthopedic surgeon may have strengthening and stretching exercises to relieve the pressure on your bunion. The goal of this is to encourage the foot to walk correctly.
How To Treat A Bunionette Surgically
Surgery to treat a Tailor’s Bunion is fairly straightforward. It’s done as an outpatient procedure and doesn’t typically require a patient to stay in the hospital. Depending on if your surgeon decides to shave down your bunionette to relieve pressure, or completely remove the bunionette altogether, recovery time can be anywhere from 3-12 weeks. You can expect to be in a protective boot or cast after the surgery.
More than 100 different bunion removal surgery methods exist. Your orthopedic surgeon will decide which method is best for you depending on the size of your bunion or bunionette and how it developed.
Three of the most common types of bunionette removal procedures are osteotomy, exostectomy, and arthrodesis.
- In an osteotomy, your surgeon will cut your big toe joint and realign it to its normal position.
- In an exostectomy, your surgeon will simply remove your bunion from the joint without the need for realignment.
- In an arthrodesis, your surgeon will replace the joint with metal plates or screws to correct the deformation.
After surgery, your foot will be bandaged and you will be taken to the recovery room. Generally, after a few hours in recovery, you are okay to go home.
If you are enduring the daily discomfort and pain from Tailor’s Bunion, there are simple changes you can make to improve your quality of life. Most people can find at-home remedies and medicinal remedies to manage the pain of their bunion, however, surgery can completely alleviate the pain and discomfort altogether.
Treatment and surgery are often on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, if you have any questions unanswered, contact your local orthopedic surgeon. He or she will be able to look at your specific problem, discuss your personal symptoms, and treat them accordingly whether it be non-surgically or surgically.