Tailor’s Bunion

The 26 Review

  • What is a Tailor’s Bunion A tailor’s bunion is a bony lump that forms along the outside of the little toe
  • Causes An inverted foot, loose ligaments in the foot, lower-than-normal fifth metatarsal bone, and tight calf muscles 
  • Symptoms A lump that is swollen, red, painful
  • Diagnosis Physical examination and X-rays
  • Treatment Conservative treatments include icing, resting, elevating, wearing properly fitting shoes with wide toe box, calf stretches, and anti-inflammatory medications on the 5th metatarsal. In more severe cases, corticosteroids and/or bunionette surgery (osteotomy) may be called for on the 5th metatarsal.

Let’s take a closer look…

A tailor’s bunion, also known as a bunionette, is a common foot condition characterized by the formation of a bony lump on the outer edge of the foot, near the base of the little toe. Typically, they develop gradually over time due to various factors such as inherited foot structure, improper footwear, or excessive pressure on the foot. The bony bump may become red, swollen, and painful, making it uncomfortable to wear shoes and walk. Tailor’s bunions can be managed through conservative measures such as wearing wider shoes, using cushioning pads, applying ice packs, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to alleviate the discomfort and correct the foot deformity.

Causes & Symptoms

There are a few different ways to develop a tailor’s bunion, although this type of bunion is easily avoidable. Generally, most patients develop this ailment from wearing poorly fitted shoes, such as narrow, high-heeled shoes. Some individuals are predisposed to this condition due to inheriting structural foot problems. Said problem could be that the bone in the little toe is in an abnormal position, which can cause the bone to move out of place. Other causes can include having an inverted foot, loose ligaments within the foot, tight calf muscles, and/or lower-than-normal 5th metatarsal bone. If you suspect you may have a tailor’s bunion, look out for the following symptoms:

  • swollen bump on the outside of the foot
  • redness
  • and/or pain


To diagnose this condition, a trained podiatrist will perform a physical examination alone to evaluate the tailor’s bunion and an X-ray can show problems with the bone of the little toe, if necessary. 


For the most part, conservative treatment measures can help to relieve tailor’s bunion symptoms, although they will not get rid of the bump completely. The following remedies have been known to help:

  • Silicone padding or bandages to relieve pain and prevent rubbing 
  • Wear shoes that are flexible and have a wide toe box, however, avoid wearing high heels and narrow shoes 
  • Ice the area for 10 minutes, 3 times per day 
  • Anti-inflammatory medications 
  • Calf stretches twice per day

When at-home treatments do not relieve the symptoms associated with a tailor’s bunion, visiting your podiatrist is the next best step. The doctor can administer corticosteroid injections around the joint to help bring down swelling. Custom-made shoe inserts and orthotics may also be recommended to cushion the area and prevent pain. If the pain and swelling do not go away, surgery may be an option. Generally, tailor’s bunion surgery entails removing part of the little toe bone to straighten out the toe. This procedure is called an osteotomy. The bone will be held in the correct position with a screw, plate, or piece of steel wire. 

If you or someone you know has tailor’s bunion, contact a skilled podiatrist today to determine the best treatment plan for you. 

Display your feet with confidence.

Elevating foot and ankle health for every step of your journey.