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What is that painful bump on the side of my Foot?

What is that painful bump on the side of my Foot?

It Could Be A Tailor’s Bunion

A Tailor’s Bunion, or bunionette, is a bump or prominence on your fifth metatarsal bone, at the head of the 5th metatarsal and base of the little toe.  You have 5 long, thin bones in your mid-foot called metatarsals  which attach to your toes.  Shoe pressure and ground reactive forces can cause pain when the Tailor’s Bunion is present.

The origin of the name Tailor’s Bunion is interesting.  It is said to derive from the Tailors of textiles who would need to work a pedal to operate the old style sewing machines.  The side of their foot would often become irritated from friction created by the rubbing of the foot up against these machines.  Thus the Tailor’s Bunion was born.  Today we can blame narrow toe-box shoes, i.e. fashion, and of course genetics, i.e. mom and dad.

Other Causes Of Bump Pain On The Outside Of The Foot

In some cases, a tailor’s bunion may be confused with a bone spur that manifests on the side of your fifth metatarsal head.  Although this is not an actual deformity of the joint, it can have equally painful consequences when irritated by shoe pressure.  Simple diagnostic x-rays can distinguish these differences.

Common Signs And Symptoms Associated With A Tailor’s Bunion

  • Pain at the side of the little toe joint
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Tailor’s bunion-related symptoms are often made worse by wearing shoes that possess narrow toe boxes, which rub against your prominence and irritate the soft tissues underneath your skin in your affected area.  Often times a hard callus lesion can form on the side or under the little toe joint.

Treatment Options

Most Tailor’s Bunions can be treated with a minimal surgical approach to properly realign the 5th metatarsal foot bone.

Mild Tailor Bunion deformities can be treated with conservative, non-surgical measures which include:

  • Avoiding  footwear that squeezes and irritates your forefoot. Choose shoes that offer a wide toe box. At Barrettpodiatry.com we offer a shoe recommendation for your convenience.
  • Custom foot orthotics made by Barrett Podiatry can balance the entire foot thereby realigning the little toe joint and alleviating the size and pain of the Tailor Bunion.
  • Incorporating a toe spacing product: A toe space placed between the 4th and 5th toes can place your fifth toe into a more proper alignment, which could help alleviate little toe joint pain. When worn regularly over a period of time, a toe spacer can reduce your Tailor’s bunion. Be sure to use a wider shoe if choosing a toe spacer as this will increase the overall width of the foot.
  • Padding the Tailor’s Bunion can provide good temporary relief.
  • Anti-inflammatory agents: Certain prescription drugs and topical anti-inflammatory medications can provide good, though temporary relief.
  • Injection therapy: Corticosteroid injections can offer very good longer term relief of swelling and pain at the little toe joint.

Scheduling Your Appointment

We’re here to help with treatment for your painful Tailor’s Bunion.

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