In most instances, bunions form along the joint next to the big toe. However, bunions can develop along the pinky toe as well. These bunions –– known as bunionettes or tailor’s bunions –– are smaller than typical bunions. Despite their smaller size, though, bunionettes can be just as painful and disruptive as regular bunions. As such, today we’ll explain how you can treat a bunion on your pinky toe and what you can do to improve your overall foot health:
How Do Bunionettes Form?
Bunions (in general) form as a result of a misalignment in the foot. Bunions come about when pressure (either external or internal) forces the muscles, joints, and tendons in the foot into an unnatural position. This, in turn, causes the formation of a bony mass known as a bunion.
Bunionettes occur for the same reasons as traditional bunions –– with the crucial difference being the pressure is placed on the side of the foot near the small toe. One reason why this may happen is if a person regularly holds their foot in an unnatural position. In fact, because tailors –– who used to sit cross-legged when they worked –– were so susceptible to bunionettes, they are still referred to as “tailor’s bunions.”
We now know that a variety of genetic and external factors can contribute to bunions –– including the shape of the foot, foot injuries, and the practice of wearing tight-fitting shoes.
Non-Surgical Bunionette Treatment Options
At first glance, a bunion on your pinky toe may not seem like a big problem. Yet, left untreated, bunionettes can cause significant pain and discomfort. What’s more, bunions tend to get larger and more problematic over time. So it’s important to take action quickly if you notice a bunionette.
In terms of non-surgical treatment options, individuals may opt to utilize bunion pads or cushions to cut down on pain from bunionettes. Unfortunately, these products are not capable of reducing or removing bunions. They can –– at least temporarily –– cut down on pain from bunionettes. In addition, individuals suffering from bunionettes can apply an ice pack should their bunionette begin to throb. They may also benefit from taking an ibuprofen should they experience sharp bunionette pain.
The only way to get rid of a bunion, or a bunionette, is to have it surgically removed. Though this may seem like a drastic measure to some, bunion surgery is much more patient-friendly now than it was in the past. Thanks to advances in the field of minimally invasive procedures, surgeons are able to remove bunionettes safely and effectively using only very small incisions along the side of the foot. This means that minimally invasive procedures can drastically reduce residual pain, scarring, and damage to the foot following surgery.
When compared to “open-foot” surgery, minimally invasive bunion surgery is much less painful and presents a much shorter recovery period. Note that minimally invasive bunion surgeries are outpatient procedures. And most of our patients are able to walk out of the operating room on their own and resume many normal daily activities following surgery.
Minimally invasive bunionette surgery could be the perfect way to provide relief for your bunion pain. If you’re tired of struggling with foot pain, contact our team at Northwest Surgery Center here for more information. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, and we’re ready to help you today!