Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic

Information on Bunions

Treatment for bunions - Podiatrist in Bloomington-Normal, Pontiac, and Clinton

Bunion Definition

An excess misaligned bony protrusion at the base of the big toe, a bunion causes that toe to slant toward the others. Knocking foot bones out of alignment and making the characteristic bump at the joint's base, a bunion can be very painful due to pressure or arthritis, and may also lead to corns. Pain relievers, padding to cushion the bunion, custom molded orthotic shoe inserts, or surgery may help, as will wearing shoes that are the correct size and style and avoiding high heels.

Types of Bunions

Positional -As new bone is grown the joint is enlarged, stretching the joint's outer layer. Pressure created by the stretching pushes the big toe toward the little ones. Gradually, the inside tendons tighten, pulling the big toe farther out of alignment.

Structural -When the angle between the bones of the first and second toes is larger than normal, the big toe deviates toward the little ones. In serious cases, this may also cause the second and third toes to slant.

What is Tailor's Bunion?

A tailor's bunion appears on the baby toe where the metatarsal bone joins the little. Though it may sound cute, it is just as painful as the bunion. It is an abnormality that happens when the head of the metatarsal is moved outwards, jutting out from the side of the foot. They are very painful.

A tailor's bunion shows the same symptoms as a bunion on the big toe. The bump is caused by the alignment of the head of the metatarsal bone, with the additional growth of new bone. As the joint enlarges, it can be the cause of long lasting pain and will become sore and inflamed. Once in awhile there is an accompanying lesion which can become infected. The lesion is caused by the rubbing resulting from wearing improper fitting shoes.

Sometimes the bunion can become additionally swollen if the bursa, a fluid filled sac around the joint, becomes swollen. This is often referred to as bursitis, and usually requires anti-inflammatory drugs.

A tailor's bunion got its name because it was a common ailment in the garment industry. Tons of hours spent in a pretzel leg position on concrete and wood floors while making garments resulted in the development of this condition. When you sit cross-legged, the weight of the legs is placed on the joint of the baby toe. Eventually the baby toe starts to bend inwards and bone to stick outwards.

Tailors bunions happen mostly due to inappropriate shoes, the toes are stuffed in a small toe box. The problem is elevated by modern inflexible man-made materials found in inexpensive shoes.

What makes the problem even worse is an overly elevated heel. When the back of the foot is elevated, the weight of the body shifts directly onto the ball of the feet and the toes. The added weight against the side of the shoes, and the pressure forced on the joints cause the tailor's bunion. Gradually the metatarsal bone shifts and the bunion develops.

Many people who have wide feet have the tailors bunion, as many people with wider feet often wear standard shoes which place the sides of the feet, and the toe joints, under intense pressure.

The problem is treatable by having a tailor's bunionectomy, the surgical process which removes extra bone density and realigns the baby toe. Bunion pain can be lessened with over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers; however with extensive chronic pain the podiatrist may consider surgery as your best option.

The best way to avoid a tailor's bunion is to wear the best fitting shoes. Visit our Sole Savers Shoe Store located inside Cortese Foot and Ankle Clinic. We have shoes that are good for your feet.
Custom made orthotic shoes - Podiatrist in Bloomington-Normal, Pontiac, and Clinton
Custom made orthotics - Podiatrist in Bloomington-Normal, Pontiac, and Clinton