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Bunionette: A Bunion for the Little Toe

A bunionette is very similar to a bunion, except that it is found on the pinky toe.  It is also known as a tailor’s bunion.  (This is because tailors once sat cross-legged all day with the outside edge of their feet rubbing on the ground causing a pressure area at the bottom of their little toe.)  With very few people working as tailors today, bunionette’s are more commonly caused by shoes that are too narrow.

A bunionette is found where the small toe connects to the foot.  This joint is called the metatarsophalangeal joint and is where a metatarsal (a long bone in the foot) connects with a phalange (a small bone in the base of the toe).  A bunionette is the abnormal bump on the end of the metatarsal bone.  It looks like a bunion, but for the little toe.  Bunionettes are formed from two main causes.  The most common reason is wearing inappropriately narrow shoes or not increasing shoe width as the foot naturally widens during the aging process.  Bunionettes may also be caused by a bowing of the metatarsal bone, but this occurs only in a small number of people.   Both causes of bunionettes can lead to a boney bump constantly rubbing on shoes which may cause calluses to form.

The easiest method to decrease the pain caused by a bunionette is to stop the rubbing.  This can be accomplished by changing shoe gear, placing a pad over the area, or by removing the callus.  Calluses can be removed effortlessly and without pain by the podiatrists at Fenton Foot Care.   The doctors will diagnosis a bunionette through a physical examination and use of x-ray.  If the bunionette’s symptoms aren’t reduced through shoe gear, padding, or callus removal, surgery is always a possibility.  Surgeons typically use two different procedures to treat bunionettes.  They may look to either remove the bump or change the shape and angle of the metatarsal.  After surgery, patients use a post-op shoe for a short period of time before returning to their normal shoes.

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