Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


What is a Bunionette?

Many people are familiar with bunions, those painful bumps on the side of your foot, but have never heard of a similar foot deformity called a bunionette.  Many years ago, this condition was referred to as a “tailor’s bunion.”  This reference was made, because tailors would sit on the floor with their legs crossed to do their work.  Over time, a small bump would develop on the outside of their foot just behind the small toe, arising from friction between their foot and the floor .  It is actually the metatarsal bone of the forefoot that is affected.  The bunionette is less common than a bunion, however, the symptoms are very much alike.

What causes a bunionette?

You don’t have to be a tailor to develop this type of bunion.  In fact, for most people this is something that is passed on from a family member.  Poor foot structure results in the affected bone moving out of its normal place which in turn, moves the little toe in toward the other toes. Other causes are an enlarged or angled 5th metatarsal bone

Is a bump the only symptom?

The bump is just one visible symptom.  Many shoes do not accommodate bunionettes well, and the constant friction can redden and irritate the deformity.  Pain and swelling can also occur in the adjacent joint with this foot condition.  It is important to monitor your feet closely for infection if the skin over the bump breaks due to rubbing against your shoe.

I have a bump by my small toe, but how do I know if it is a bunionette?

We can diagnose this condition by examining your foot.  In order to understand the cause and severity, we will obtain an X-ray.  Gathering this information will help us make the best decision regarding your treatment plan.

I’m worried that I will have to have surgery.  What non-surgical treatment options are available?

There are several ways that a bunionette can be addressed without surgery.  They include:

Orthotics:  Custom orthotics are used to improve the distribution of weight across the foot.  This helps to take pressure off of injured areas of the foot, so that the deformity is less irritated.

New Shoes:  Shop for shoes that will accommodate the bunionette.  A toe box that is wider will reduce friction against the bump, which will help to reduce pain and irritation.  Avoiding trends like high-heels and pointy-toed shoes can also help.

Injections and other medications:  Corticosteroid shots or over-the-counter Ibuprofen may be recommended to aid in reducing the swelling and inflammation of the bump.

Ice:  Place ice in a towel, and hold it on the affected area to reduce swelling.

Pads:  Made specifically for this condition, bunionette pads protect the area from friction that occurs when it rubs against the shoe.

What if I have to have surgery?

We will assess your unique situation to determine if surgery is necessary.  Typically this is only considered if foot pain does not decrease with more conservative measures, such as those listed above.  The cause and severity of your bunionette will determine what procedures are used to correct it.  Other information that is taken into account includes how old you are, how active you are, and other medical conditions.

Do you have a bump by your small toe?  Is wearing shoes a pain?  Set up an appointment today with Drs. Brook, Northcutt, Arroyo or Baca today to learn more about your foot health.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star all h
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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Join the 50,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
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