If a small bump develops on one of your little toes, you may wonder if it's contagious or dangerous. The bump on your toe might be a bunionette, or small bunion. Bunionettes can cause problems if they interfere with your gait or ability to wear shoes. Learn how bunionettes form and what you can do treat the one on your toe.
What Is a Bunionette?
A bunionette (taylor's bunion) forms near the fifth metatarsal bone and at the base of the pinky toe. Metatarsal bones are long bones that begin in the middle, or center, of the foot and end at the first toe joint. The ends of the bones are called heads, which is where a bunionette forms.
Several things can cause a bunionette to form, including pressure and stress from wearing too tight shoes or standing on your feet all day. Sitting with your legs cross on a hard surface can also cause a taylor's bunion. The pressure eventually changes the direction of the metatarsal bone. Instead of remaining straight or almost straight, the bone begins to protrude outward, forming a bump on the side of the little toe.
You can experience pain if the bunionette grows larger. Swelling is another symptom you might have over time. To combat these problems and treat your taylor's bunion, seek help from a foot doctor.
How Do You Treat Bunions?
A foot doctor can examine your toe to see if it does have a bunionette on it or something else. Sometimes, bumps can form on the sides of the foot if you have a fractured bone. In this case, the bone grows the wrong way, creating a bump. If the exam reveals that you do have a taylor's bunion, a foot specialist will take steps to treat it.
Treatment for bunionettes may be similar to the treatments used for regular bunions. A doctor may prescribe a special padding for your foot. The padding covers the bunionette and prevents it from rubbing against other things, such as your socks and bedding. Padding can also ease your pain when you walk or wear shoes.
Your other treatments may include placing ice packs on the affected side of your toe and foot. The coolness may reduce inflammation and swelling. Sometimes, doctors use medicinal injections to ease their patients' bunionette pain. It's important to go over your treatment plan with a foot specialist during your consultation.
If the growth is too uncomfortable, you may need bunion surgery. Surgery allows a foot doctor to remove or shave down the excess bone. Surgery can also reposition the metatarsal bone and small toe. You'll generally wear a bootie and use a cane or crutch to support and protect your foot after surgery. However, the post-surgery requirements for you may vary, depending on your doctor.
You may need to take a break from work or other activities during your recovery. Depending on your surgery, your recovery time can range from a six weeks to three months. As with any procedure, a foot specialist will discuss your expected recovery time before they perform surgery.
To keep bunionettes from affecting you in the future, wear footwear with wide boxes. Wider boxes allow your toes to move freely throughout the day. If possible, rest your feet as much as possible during work or exercise. Also, examine your feet and toes regularly, even if they feel fine. Bunionettes and bunions may not always cause pain in some individuals.
If you develop a bunionette in the future, contact a foot doctor for a bunion removal. Prompt care can help keep you on track to good health.
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