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Pain in the Bunion: Take Two!

January 31, 2019

tailorsbunionIn the beginning of March I discussed bunions:  the at times uncomfortable, and sometimes unsightly bumps, on the inner sides of your feet next to your big toe. Today I would like to focus to the other side of the foot and discuss, Tailor’s bunion, or Bunionette.  Tailor’s bunion refers to a similar deformity as a bunion but on the outer side of the foot next to the pinky toe.  Both types of bunions are seen frequently at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic. The Tailor’s bunion got its name centuries ago when tailors would sit cross-legged on hard floors for hours at a time*. The pressure from the hard floor on the side of their foot caused irritation to the spot next to their little toe. While there is a genetic component to tailor’s bunion there are other contributing factors, such as:

  • The way you walk: This can stretch the ligaments holding your bones together, causing the bone to jut outwards as a result.
  • Wearing High Heels: Compounding the issue, high-heeled shoes will place additional pressure on the toes, accelerating this process of ligament stretching. This progression can give rise to a condition known as splay foot, where the bones on either side of the foot protrude outwards.

Since Tailor’s bunion is usually a natural result of aging, Dr. Vimal Reddy does not find this condition worrisome unless it becomes painful. As always, the goal is to make sure you are comfortable and can go through life easily without being bothered by bunions. We can achieve this with:

  • Padding may help reduce pain in the affected area
  • Measuring your feet to see if your shoe size has changed
  • Icing to reduce pain and inflammation

Surgery is another option to straighten out the bunions but only in severe cases.  Therefore in closing; if sitting cross-legged for hours is causing pain in your pinky toe region, or perhaps you’ve noticed pain in your little toe area while taking a stroll around the Jacksonville, FL St. Johns Town center, consult with Dr. Reddy for appropriate treatment options for your tailor’s bunion. *Fun fact: The sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in the body, found in the front thigh.  Sartoriusderives from the Latin word for tailor because it functions to position your legs in a tailor’s cross-legged position!

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