The name tailor’s bunion originated years ago. It was thought that tailors developed this type of bunion because they worked sitting cross legged on the floor. Sitting this way exerted pressure on the side of the foot and a bunion was formed.
In current times, the tailor’s bunion or bunionette is found across the employment spectrum. People develop tailor’s bunions for a variety of reasons. Heredity is probably the biggest cause of the problem. The foot bone alignment that you inherit from your ancestors can be the cause of many foot problems. Also the shape of your foot bones can lead to a tailor’s bunion. In the case of the bunionette, there is an inflammation of the fifth metatarsal bone (the long bone in the foot leading up the outside) at the base of the little or pinkie toe.
Shoes can also play a part in the development of a tailor’s bunion. Tight fitting shoes can cause the bones to push together and a bunionette to form.
Having arthritis may also cause a tailor’s bunion. Rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis may cause bone destruction or joint mis-alignment which can cause a bunionette to form.
A tailor’s bunion can be painful. Sometimes a fluid filled sac called a bursa can develop in response to the irritation. If you can tolerate it, an over the counter anti-inflammatory drug my help. Sometimes the foot is so irritated that the anti-inflammatory drugs don’t help. If that is the case, you may need an injection to ease the swelling and pain. Also, there can be calluses and blisters that form on the outside of the foot from the foot rubbing on your shoes.
If the foot is painful, red, and irritated, it is time to see your friendly podiatrist. He or she can x-ray the foot to see how severe the misalignment is and then the doctor can make recommendations. It may be as simple as wearing a bunion pad over the area or as complex as surgery to re-align the bones. Either way, the doctor can show you the problem on the x-ray and answer all your questions.
For those of you missing the Foot Blogger Chick, she took another week of vacation. She has done nothing to deserve this vacation but I have been assured that she will be back next week. I do think that I do a better job than she does but you can never convince the boss of that!
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
Trivia Question of the week– Which crafter came first, shoemakers or tailors?
Find the answer on our Facebook page – Evanston Podiatric Surgeons – on Friday, October 19th. While you’re there, please take a moment to “like” us.
Follow us on twitter – @EvPodiatric and the answer will be tweeted on Friday morning.