A Bunion on the Outside of the Foot?

Yes, it is possible.  In this case, it may be a Tailor’s bunion or a bunionette.  It's true, that bump on the outside of the foot may in fact be more than just a bone; it may be a bunion.  And just like a bunion in the big toe joint, there are treatments available in the office of your friendly local NYC podiatry office.

The long bones in the foot are known as the metatarsal bones.  Commonly, the first and fifth metatarsals deviate away from the central metatarsals, mostly due to family history and partly due to shoes and activity.  As the first metatarsal drifts, the big toe shifts, leading to the formation of the dreaded bunion.  The fifth metatarsal movement, however, leads to enlargement of the bone, but does not affect the fifth toe in the same manner.  As the deformity progresses, there may be pain in the region especially in tight shoes.

OMG, is it treatable?

Fret not, young NYC podiatry patient. This is a treatable condition.  First, let’s start with some conservative care, often in the form of some common sense.  That means closeting the Manolo’s that are most painful in favor of something a bit wider and softer.  Don’t worry, you can still wear the tight shoes once in a while, but if worn on a regular basis the bunionette may progress more rapidly and will certainly feel more uncomfortable.  Orthotics may assist in controlling the foot and relieving some pain.  If conservative treatment fails, bunion surgery is available, the goal of which is to realign the joint and straighten the bone, much like the repair of a bunion of the big toe joint.  And as with a bunionectomy, this is an outpatient procedure after which patients walk immediately on the operative foot.

And in case you’re wondering, the name of the condition is derived from the tailor, as in the guy, or gal, who alters your clothing.  Apparently the way they sat on the floor made them more prone to developing this condition.  Which goes to show it’s always important to maintain the proper stance on issues.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

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