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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

Meet the Bunionette, a Bunion’s Little Brother

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There’s the notion that smaller things are somehow “cuter” or “nicer” than their normal-sized counterparts. This is why mini candy bars are “fun size,” although they provide only a fraction the fun of a king-size bar, if you ask us! For some reason, somebody tried to apply the whole “little” convention to bunions, creating the term “bunionette.” But don’t be fooled: they may be smaller, but there’s nothing cute about them!

Whereas a bunion is a large, protruding bump at the base of the big toe, a bunionette is a similar condition on the other side of the foot, at the small toe. If you don’t like the term, you could always call it by its other name: tailor’s bunion. This comes from the way tailors used to sit cross-legged while working, causing the outside edges of their feet to rub against the floor and resulting in a bump.

The causes of both toe deformities are similar. They tend to happen when the metatarsal bone that connects the toe to the foot begins to shift outward, making the affected toe move inward. The joint begins to stick out as a bump, which can grow callused and become irritated as it rubs or is squeezed against the inside of a shoe. Usually, there is an inherited bone structure in the foot that causes this condition, but wearing shoes that are too tight or put too much pressure on the forefoot can definitely make things worse.

The pain of this condition is no fun at all, but there are ways to manage the discomfort. There are even many conservative treatment options that can help without resorting to surgery. For help with a painful bump in either side of your foot, give the experts at Family Foot Care & Surgery a call at either of our two offices: (203) 288-4055 for Hamden or (203) 876-7736 for Milford, CT.

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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