Bunionette: What Is This Bump on My Pinky Toe?

Put –ette at the end of the word and we automatically think of a daintier version of the root word.  For instance, we all know Smurfette and the Chipettes.  Have you ever heard of a bunionette?

A bunion is a big problem—pain, shoe discomfort, and overall irritation results.  A bunionette is a similar condition that is smaller in size, but packs a similar punch when it comes to the health of your feet.

Also known as a “tailor’s bunion,” this particular misalignment affects the outside of the foot near the small toe.  Today’s mechanized world leaves little room in our imaginations for a time when a tailor would sit cross-legged to do his work.  However, that is exactly what led to this foot condition’s nickname.

Just as high-heels don’t cause bunions, you don’t have to be a tailor to experience the discomfort of a bunionette.  The protrusion often appears as a person ages, due to the natural widening and flattening of the feet.  Shoes with a wider toe box may resolve the discomfort for some people.  Other conservative measures include custom orthotics and pads.  Surgery is always a last resort.

Question:

I went on a 6 mile walk about 2 weeks ago wearing my semi-new, but still broken in tennis shoes, & I came home with a very strange injury, that seems to be getting worse. The base of my pinky toe on my left foot is pretty swollen & VERY painful. whatever it is, is DEFINITELY internal.I have trouble wearing any of my shoes & walking on it. I would go to the doctor, but I can’t since i don’t either money or insurance. I was just wondering if you could PLEASE make an educated guess as to what this MIGHT possibly be.

Answer: 

Sounds like you irritated the fifth metatarsal joint and you may have a bunionnete. The irritation of the ball of the foot and can involve a single or multiple joints-the metatarsophalangeal joint to be specific. Check out our website at AnkleNFoot.com for additional info on bunionette. Just try a wider shoe-maybe even get rid of the new shoes. Decrease your activity level and try a comfortable, cushy pair of gym shoes, icing, rest and Advil or Aleve for a few days-if no go, or gets worse then…

Go see a good Board Certified Podiatrist who is also a foot surgery expert!

For more information on bunions, educate yourself on our site: http://anklenfoot.com/Education/YourFeet/BunionetteorTailorsBunion/tabid/101/Default.aspx

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