A bunionette is a painful, bony protrusion that forms on the outside of the foot near the pinky toe, not on the inner part of the foot near the big toe joint like a bunion. It is also called a tailor’s bunion. There are a variety of treatment options for bunionettes that can be done with or without surgery.
Signs of a Bunionette
A bunionette occurs when constant pressure is applied to the side of the foot near the pinky toe. A visible bony bump on the side of your foot near your pinky toe is the obvious sign that you have a bunionette. Another sign is having pain and discomfort when wearing shoes.
When shoes rub the area of the bunionette, you are at risk for developing blisters which can turn into an ulcer. For those with a condition such as diabetes, this can be dangerous and needs to be treated immediately before it turns into a serious complication.
Once the bunionette is evaluated by a podiatrist and other causes are ruled out, treatment options will be discussed. Conservative treatments are initially recommended and may consist of:
- Changing shoes. Wearing shoes with a wider toe box area can help prevent rubbing against the bunionette and can provide relief. Avoid wearing shoes that are tight or ones that have high heels.
- Buying custom orthotics. Orthotics can be worn inside the shoe to help take pressure off the side of the foot.
- Adding padding. Padding can be applied to the outer side of the foot to cushion the area where the bunionette is and prevent rubbing against the shoe.
- Taking medication. To help reduce inflammation and pain, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug may be used.
- Using hot and cold compresses. Alternating ice and heat can provide pain relief. Ice can be used to minimize swelling.
Surgery is recommended only if conservative methods of treatment have not provided relief and you are having difficulty wearing shoes and doing daily activities. It is the only way to permanently remove and correct the bunionette. Surgery for a bunionette requires less recovery time than a procedure done for a bunion.
Time to See a Podiatrist
If you are suffering from a painful bunionette and need help, contact the foot specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry. To schedule an appointment, fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET.