HomeBunions ResourcesTailors Bunion: Causes and Treatment Options

Tailors Bunion: Causes and Treatment Options


Similar Terms: Taylor’s Bunion, 5th toe Bunion, Bunion on little toe.

A bunionette is a little bump at the base of the little toe at the fifth metatarsal joint. It will show up at this spot on the outside of the little toe.

You may call this bunion a “pinky toe bunion” or “Tailors Bunionor.” The development of a bunionette is very similar to the development of a bunion on the big toe. And it can eventually cause just as much pain.

The fact is that shoes that give your forefoot plenty of room are essential to preventing bunions. Your toes are not supposed to be squeezed tightly together. In our western society, women favor shoes that do precisely that. Of course, men’s shoes do not do that to nearly the same degree.

The prevalence of bunions is so much higher in women than in men. Some estimates say as much as ten times higher.

How to diagnose taylor’s bunion?

Most doctors are able to readily identify a bunionette during physical examination, but there are cases that require x-rays to help determine if the foot has already splayed and if surgery is necessary. The patient’s range of motion is also evaluated.

Hereditary Issues

In addition, the exact hereditary issues such as flat feet can lead to the development of a tailor’s bunion and one on the big toe. These genetic issues, which should be discussed with a foot specialist, present a tendency or likelihood of developing this disorder, making it doubly important that shoes with sufficient room are always worn.

A woman may be born with a particular foot structure that predisposes her to develop bunions, but she may go through her whole life without experiencing any foot problems. But if she wears too-tight shoes too much of the time as an adult, a bunion is very likely to develop.

Suppose you are experiencing any redness, swelling, tenderness, or pain around the small toe, especially at the metatarsal joint at the base of the little toe. In that case, you may very well have a bunionette.

Is a Tailor’s Bunion Always a problem?

For some people, a bunionette isn’t a problem if they are going barefoot (although how often does anyone do that, except at home) or if they wear wide sandals that are open around the toes. But it isn’t always practical to wear sandals. Most of the time, you need to wear regular shoes.

And when you do so, pinky toe pain can be a dull ache that you try to ignore, or it can be an intense pain that is impossible to ignore.

Unfortunately, just like bunions on the big toe, bunionettes or tailor’s bunions are a progressive deformity, meaning that they will only get worse over time if not attended to. They do not go away by themselves.

This means that you have to take protective measures for your feet right away if you suspect the development of a bunion, no matter which toe it is on. Failing to do so can make your foot pain worse, aggravate your condition, and progress faster.

Home Treatment for Tailor’s Bunion

1. Arch Supports

Use arch supports to transfer the weight from the pinky toe. One of the best we have found in the market for this specific purpose is the FootChair Orthotics with Pads for Adjustable Arch Height.

FootChair Orthotics with Pads for Adjustable Arch Height. Relieve Plantar Fasciitis and Other Foot Pain (Women’s 9-10.5 / Men’s 7-8.5)
  • ADJUSTABLE ARCH HEIGHT: Are standard inserts too low? Too high? Thanks to removable pads, these arch supports can be adjusted to your unique comfort level. Ideal for plantar fasciitis and flat feet.
  • CUSTOMIZED FIT, OVER-THE-COUNTER PRICE - FOR SHOES WITH REMOVABLE INSOLES: Created by podiatrists, your shoe insoles feature an innovative design similar to custom orthotics but at a fraction of the cost.
  • SUPPORTS, CUSHIONS AND PROTECTS the heel, arch and ball-of-foot. From heel to toe, your full-length footbeds are contoured to relieve pressure from ball of foot and heel. Made of firm yet flexible polypropylene, they act as shock absorbers, too.
  • PAIN RELIEF from plantar fasciitis, ball of foot pain and big toe joint pain: On the job or at the gym, these sole inserts are great for walking, running or prolonged standing. Perfect for sports
  • These orthotics have a higher arch then most prefabricated orthotics in order to offer greater support. This may require a slightly larger shoe and removable insole in order to wear them comfortably. We cannot guarantee they will fit in the shoes you currently own. TRY RISK FREE: We know you’ll love the support of your new orthotic insoles. That’s why they’re backed by a 30-day, money-back guarantee even if trimmed to fit your shoe.

The primary purpose of an orthotic insole is to improve foot function, and in many cases, it will reduce pain and help prevent future problems and injury.

2. Bunionette Corrector

These gel pads slightly separate the pinky toe with 4th toe. They offer relief by straightening and aligning the small to back to its natural state. Have a look at bunion correctors for you big toe.

Chiroplax Tailor's Bunion Corrector Pad Bunionette Straightener Separator Cushion Pinky Toe Protector Shield Pain Relief Spacer Splint Cover Guard (6 Pack)
  • 6 Pads: One size fits most. (Exceptions: women shoe size 6 & down, men shoe size 12 & up) See size guide photo for details.
  • Relief to Bunionette: Soft gel pad provides cushion. Spacer helps correct and realign toes.
  • High Quality Gel: Sleeves are made from high quality TPE gel. Pads are stretchable and soft.
  • Washable & Reusable
  • U.S. based customer service: Chiroplax provides a customer satisfaction guarantee. Chiroplax for chiropractic relaxation!

The following product that we found helpful is the YogaToes GEMS. These gel pads separate all the toes and relax the muscles after a tiresome day using your feet.

3. Ice Pack

To soothe your pain, you could choose to use ice packs for 5 to 10 minutes every day. These packs offer therapeutic relief for your Bunnionnete pain. These packs are reusable and can be used for hot or cold therapy.

Ice Pack (3-Piece Set) – Reusable Hot and Cold Therapy Gel Wrap Support Injury Recovery, Alleviate Joint and Muscle Pain – Rotator Cuff, Knees, Back & More (3 Piece Set - Classic)
  • Comfortable Pain Relief – These adjustable hot and cold packs offer therapeutic relief for myofascial, soft tissue soreness as well as stiff joints and aching muscles.
  • Hot or Cold Compress – Trek Proof medical-grade gel packs are safe for the microwave and freezer to easily rotate between icing and heating injuries.
  • Improved Recovery – Along with general aches and pains, our therapy pads can help reduce headaches, swelling and fevers as well as relieve menstrual cramps and sinusitis.
  • Dual Pack – Every order comes complete with two body-forming ice packs so you can keep one in the freezer and one bag with your first aid kit ready to be heated up.
  • Includes Comfort Strap – Trek Proof soothing therapy wraps come with an adjustable, one-size-fits-all strap that’s great for men and women.

4. Use a Topical Pain Reliever

If pain persists during the day, we recommend you choose the Biofreeze Pain Relief roll-on. The formula penetrates deep into the sore bones and muscles for instant relief.

Biofreeze Pain Relief Roll-On, 3 oz. Roll-On, Fast Acting, Long Lasting, & Powerful Topical Pain Reliever (Packaging May Vary)
  • #1 Clinically Recommended: Trusted by pharmacists, physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, podiatrists, and athletic trainers
  • Unique cooling menthol formula is backed by science and research-proven to deliver fast acting, long lasting and deep penetrating pain relief for sore muscles, backaches, sore joints, and arthritis
  • Trusted by some of the world's best athletes and athletic trainers
  • 3 oz. roll-on offers hands-free application via massaging roller ball and is TSA-approved, making it suitable for travel
  • Biofreeze roll-on applies easily and penetrates quickly for fast pain relief; product is not tested on animals, made with USP grade ingredients, and free of NSAIDs, parabens, and propylene glycol

5. Buy Shoes with Wide ToeBox

Shoes with a wide toebox gave the pinky space, and no contact is made with the shoe. Orthofeet stretch shoes are another option if you’re uncomfortable with wide shoes. Checkout more shoes for bunions.

[su_button url=”https://www.orthofeet.com/products/extra-roomy-sock-charcoal?” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#000000″ size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: shopping-cart” text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]View on Orthofeet[/su_button]

6. Stretch your shoes

If you’re not able to get new shoes to accommodate the pinky toe deformity, you can choose to stretch your shoes. Watch this video for instructions on how to stretch your shoes.

FootFitter Cast Iron Ball & Ring Shoe Stretcher, Spot Stretching Device, Target Stretching for Bunion, Corn & Hammertoes - Black
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Created from cast iron, strength and durability is known through its creation process. Our Ball and Ring Shoe Stretcher was built to last. The construction is top notch and through the casting process its strong enough to alter tough materials like thick leather. Quality is what we had in mind with our Ball and Ring Shoe Stretcher.
  • BUNION STRETCHING: Formed through the casting process, our Ball and Ring Shoe Stretcher features targeted spot treatments. The Spot Stretching comes through the Ball and Ring end of the tool. They work in unison; the ring end shows the targeted area, while the ball alters the material. The other end of the tool provides a locking feature to hold the targeted area down for targeted treatments.
  • TARGETED USAGE: The Ball and Ring Shoe Stretcher or we like to call it the Spot Stretching Device was geared towards people who needs targeted relief on their footwear. This is great for altering your current shoes be it new or old. You’re able to ease pain due to bunions, corns and even hammertoes with our tool. Don’t wait on it, be comfortable the next time you put your shoes on.
  • APPLICATIONS: Being created to be both strong and durable, the Ball and Ring Shoe Stretcher was built to last. This spot stretching tool is great for leather type footwear like dress shoes. It can work with certain types of boots (if unlaced), but it was meant for dress shoes. The ball and ring end, which goes into your footwear is short so anything that has more than 4 eyelets will be tougher to get the stretcher into.
  • TIPS: We recommend using our FootFitter Shoe Stretching Spray in unison with our Ball & Ring Shoe Stretcher. The spray softens your leathers and makes the targeted stretching easier while hydrating your shoes. Take your time when using any types of shoes stretching device. Why? All shoes are constructed differently, and you shouldn’t risk breaking stitches or tearing your shoes. Go slow and it will take time to stretch quality leathers.


Suppose the measures described at the beginning of this article do not provide the pain relief you need. In that case, your doctor may prescribe oral anti-inflammatory medications or injections of corticosteroids into the toe.

Injections of corticosteroids are not a pleasant experience, but if you are at this point, you will want to try everything before resorting to foot surgery.

Related post: Exercises for bunions

If changing shoes is not an adequate solution, and protective guards, cushions, or medications do not provide enough help and relief, then bunion surgery will be the following option to seriously consider.

Bunion surgery, whether for a bunion on your big toe or your pinky toe, is also known as a “bunionectomy,” which means the surgical removal of a bunion.

Surgery for a tailor’s bunion is similar to a regular bunionectomy. Keeping the foot elevated and the swelling down with ice will be essential, or your recovery from surgery could be extended to several months. Also, the same concerns apply for recovery for a bunionette as they do for surgery for a big toe bunion. Take a look at these celebrities who have bunions.

Where Did the Name “Tailor’s Bunion” Come From?

The name “tailor’s bunion” is derived from the Renaissance era, which began in the early 1400s in Europe. This busy period saw the beginnings of the fashion industry as we know it today.

Before this time, only the highest levels of society had the luxury of viewing clothes as adornment and not just as protection from the elements. The growth of the upper and middle classes during the Renaissance and the creative explosion that characterized this era resulted in the development of the occupation of a tailor, or one who sewed patterns of cloth into clothes.

Before this time, clothes were sewn only in homes by the females living there, but the Renaissance saw the rise of a profession of a tailor, who did nothing but sew clothes for other people to purchase.

The typical position of tailors was to sit cross-legged on a shop floor for long periods while they worked. The outside of their feet would be rubbed on the floor (with their little toes pushed against the fourth toes) so intensely that bumps – bunions – developed.


How long does a bunionectomy surgery take to heal?

It took me around 11 to 12 weeks to be healed enough be back to my usual routine after my  bunionectomy. By 6 weeks I was out of my surgical shoe and could walk in a my FitFlops.  I probably won’t be fully healed until a full year after surgery. This time frame is required for the bone to heal itself, and most bunion surgeries require the bone to be cut or moved.  My doctor gave me an earlier time frame for healing, but that was not the case for me.  Everybody is different.

How long after a bunionectomy can I go back to work?

When deciding when to go back to work after a bunionectomy, you will have to factor in the type of work you do. Are you on your feet all day? Does your work involve heavy labor? Do you need to drive?

In a desk or office type job it could be a matter of two weeks. That will depend on:

  1. The doctor giving you the okay to work.
  2. If you can keep your foot elevated.
  3. If you have transportation or have not had surgery to the right foot in order to drive.
  4. Your body’s pain tolerance level. After having a bunionectomy the foot is swollen for quite some time. When standing, even to take a shower, the blood rushes to the foot and may make it uncomfortable to stand on it for long periods of time.

For some people, it could take 2-3 months before going back to work, especially when the work requires standing, or is physically demanding.

Do I need surgery for a Tailors Bunion?

Tailor’s bunion surgery may be needed when all other non-surgical remedies have been exhausted. Surgery will be contingent on the magnitude of the deformity. Generally, when pain or further growth of the tailor’s bunion continues surgery would be used to either remove the bony prominence, or realign the bone to allow usual use of the joint. The correct surgery needed based on the structure of your foot will be recommended by a podiatrist.

Will there be a scar after my tailor bunion surgery?

Like any cut you may get from falling or on a kitchen knife, there is a healing of the skin that takes place. When having tailor’s bunion surgery, the foot is cut open and stitched closed. That stitching can create a scar. There are some products you can methods you can use to treat the skin while it is healing in order to minimize the appearance of a scar.

  • Apply vitamin E onto the scar.
  • Rub coca butter on the scar.
  • Rub twice a day with BioOil.
  • Mederma, a topical gel which uses botanicals to naturally fade the scar.

What shoes are good for someone with a tailors bunion?

It is important to invest in proper footwear, especially if you suffer from bunions. A good shoes will have the following:

  • Wide toe box. This will prevent friction and pressure on the bunion. Have a look at our recommended sandals for for people with bunion.
  • Removable inserts. This will allow you to remove the insert sold with the shoe, in favor for an orthotic.
  • Skip the heels. A shoe that has a heel higher than 1 inch worn regularly will only worsen the deformity.

How do I prevent a Tailor’s bunion?

Once a tailor’s bunions has surfaced there is no getting rid of it. At this point, all you can do is try to take a few precautions to slow down the progression of it.

  1. Comfortable shoes. The importance of proper footwear cannot be reiterated enough. If a shoe has a high heel, is tight, pointed, or narrow, it will only worsen the condition. A wide toe box is essential in slowing down the growth.
  2. Orthotics.
  3. Bunion pads.
  4. Cortizone injections.
Useful resources
  1. tailorsbunion.com
Dr Christine Nolan is the CEO and founder of Footdiagnosis.com. She also has extensive clinical experience and is therefore uniquely qualified to detect and manage diseases of the lower extremities including those related to peripheral arterial disease and diabetes.