Bunions are bony bumps that can develop on the outside of a toe. Commonly, bunions form at the side of the big toe; however, when they develop on the pinky toe, they are called bunionettes. Also referred to as a tailor’s bunion, a bunionette often develops when the structure of the bones in the foot changes and the pinky toe begins to point inward. Individuals who have a bunionette can experience any number of symptoms. For example, bunionettes can cause redness, pain, and inflammation at the affected area. When diagnosing your bunionette a podiatrist may want to do an X-ray, because this procedure can reveal important information about the underlying bone structure in your feet. A bunionette may be treated in many ways, such as modifying one’s footwear or utilizing orthotics. Contact a podiatrist today for more information about bunionettes.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Northwest Chicago, Southwest Chicago, and Wicker Park, Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.