Tailor’s Bunion: Cinderella Procedure

The 26 Review

  • What is Tailor’s Bunion (Bunionette) is a prominent lump that forms on the side by the little toe
  • How A Bunionette forms when the fifth metatarsal bone protrudes outward
  • Why Surgery is often considered when conservative treatments fail and pain continues.
  • Recommended for Patients with large bump on the outside of the foot
  • Length of Treatment This outpatient surgery takes less than 1 hour.
  • Downtime Full recovery takes between 4 to 6 weeks depending on the patient
26 Foot and Ankle Tailor's Bunion: Cinderella Procedure

Let’s take a closer look…

As previously mentioned, Tailor’s bunion is commonly known as a bunionette. A bunionette is a prominence on the fifth metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe. This bony lump forms visually along the side of the little toe, while the little toe shifts inward toward the 4th toe. The most common symptoms associated with tailor’s bunion is redness, swelling, and pain caused by constant rubbing. There is a wide variety of nonsurgical treatments for tailor’s bunion, which includes shoe modifications or shoes with a wide toe box, padding, oral medications, icing, injection therapy, and orthotic devices. However, patients who have tried the previously listed conservative treatment options with no changes should consider speaking with a podiatrist to learn if tailor’s bunion surgery/the cinderella procedure is the best next step. Surgery is oftentimes considered when pain, redness, and swelling continues despite the listed treatment options. Continue reading on to learn more about the Cinderella procedure and determine whether it is right for your tailor’s bunion condition.

Procedure Details: Pre, During & Post Surgery Expectations

Prior to any surgery, patients should set up a consultation with their podiatrist for diagnosis and pre-surgery screening. Diagnosis for tailor’s bunion is usually pretty simple, due to the protrusion being visually apparent. A podiatrist will first conduct a physical examination of the little toe to locate the bony lump. At times, X-rays may be ordered to aid the foot and ankle doctor determine the extent and cause of the deformity. During the diagnosis process, if surgery is recommended, patient’s should inform their doctor of their health history, medications, lifestyle choices, and any allergies to anesthetics.

If surgery is the best plan of action for you, read on for the cinderella procedure expectations. Depending on the severity of the tailor’s bunion, there are two possible surgical procedures that could take place; the traditional surgery and the minimally invasive surgery. Generally, the surgeon will provide the patient with anesthesia to prevent pain and then remove the bony bump to achieve normal alignment. With open or traditional tailor’s bunion surgery, correction techniques involve a small incision to remove the bony bump, possible cutting of the metatarsal bone, and stabilization with pins, screws, or plates. The incisions are then sutured shut and patients will be placed in a cast or protective shoe. With the minimally invasive surgery, the incision is much smaller. By utilizing smaller surgical incisions, the surgeon is able to carefully maneuver carefully to fix the deformity for the best cosmetic results. By minimizing trauma and suturing, there is reduced swelling, pain and recovery time. Patients will be required to wear a surgical shoe or boot while recovering.

Depending on the type of surgery, this procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete. Seeing as this procedure is conducted with local anesthesia the foot may stay asleep for 4 to 6 hours. An antibiotic is typically administered at the time of surgery and the patient may be prescribed one dose of an antibiotic to be taken that evening. Postoperative pain medication is usually prescribed as well, to aid with post procedure pain heel-pain-pand swelling. The foot will be in a soft dressing following surgery and patients should continue to keep the dressings dry, clean and intact. As mentioned, this procedure is an outpatient surgery. That being said, patients can leave the same day as their surgery and will be placed in a special surgical shoe or boot before leaving. Crutches or walkers are not usually needed, but can be provided. For more information on the Cinderella procedure, speak with your podiatrist.

Benefits and Risk Factors

Like most surgeries, there are significant benefits and drawbacks to discuss. While there are many approaches to correcting tailor’s bunions, typically bunion surgery is the most effective treatment option. There are a few benefits all patients should experience after surgery. Most patients who receive this surgery find that it helps to end their pain and achieve long-term relief and comfort. Patients who experienced pain from bunions may have shied away from physical activities, however tailor’s bunion surgery allows patients to resume their previous physical activities, sports, and lifestyle choices. This surgery can also increase one’s self confidence. Without a prominent lump on the outside of the little toe, patients won’t feel self conscious about wearing open toed shoes. With any surgery there can be significant risk factors, but luckily if caught early most risks can be treated quickly and efficiently. There is always the potential risk of the bunion coming back in the future and patients may experience persistent pain after surgery has concluded. During the healing process and sometimes afterwards, patients may be limited in the type of shoes worn daily. Lastly, there is also the slight chance that the correction surgery will not be successful, however this is not likely. Personalized patient risks may vary according to age, a patient’s general health, and specific type of surgery done. Consider speaking with your podiatrist to discuss all potential risks and concerns you may have.

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