At the end of a long day, all we want to do is rest our feet and watch TV. It just has a soothing effect to let the feet “breathe” after a long day tucked inside shoes. For some people, rather than let their feet rest, evenings are usually spent nursing sore feet and toes. Bunions especially cause immense discomfort for many people. There is one uncommon but equally irritating form of bunions called the tailors bunion or bunionette.
Foot experts agree that bunions are caused by wearing ill fitting shoes. The reason for this is that it’s a condition that develops over time. In addition, studies conducted showed that bunions are rare in people from cultures that rarely wear shoes. There are other theories suggesting that bunions can also be caused by hereditary health conditions affecting the feet. Conditions such as flat foot and elongated metatarsal bones have been suggested as possible causes. However, these conditions only increase chances tat the condition will develop if the affected person wears ill fitting shoes for a long time.
About the bunionette
The tailor’s bunion derives its name from an action early tailors did. Tailors were known to love crossing their legs while seated. This was such that their little toes touched the ground. Constant abrasion from the ground caused reddish blisters on the little toes and thus the name.
This type of bunion affects the little toe. It develops when the fifth metatarsal protrudes outwards. This forces the little toe to point towards the other toes. A protrusion then forms at the metatarsal-toe joint. This protrusion can be inflamed, red and painful especially if it’s squeezed by tight shoes.
Unlike ordinary bunions, it’s believed that people with a hereditary structural deformity of the foot are more likely to get bunionettes. That’s why they are rarer. In such instances, the fifth metatarsal bone enlarges and protrudes outwards. As a result the little toe is forced to point inwards resulting in a protrusion at the joint. Another instance where this type of bunion develops is when there is a bony outgrowth on the side of the fifth metatarsal. Although these are the believed causes, symptoms such as pain and inflammation can occur if the patient wears tight fitting shoes.
Since it’s believed that the bunionette is more of a heredity thing, people in families with a history of this condition are more likely to develop it. Wearing proper fitting shoes is another way of prevention.
Besides the protrusion, secondary symptoms that include swelling, redness and pain can be experienced. These are usually prominent when the patient wears tight fitting shoes which rub against the skin in the affected area causing inflammation.
Treatment of bunionettes usually revolves around providing relief foe the secondary symptoms. Some of the recommended treatment methods include wearing shoes that are wide enough at the front. Application of ice and taking painkillers can be used to relieve pain and inflammation. In severe cases where pain and inflammation persist, surgery may be recommended to correct the bunionette.