I'm starting to get a big bump on the outside of my little toe. It's right along the base of the toe where it meets the foot. It looks like a bunion. Can a person get such a thing on the little toe?

Yes, bunions of the fifth metatarsal head (little toe) are called bunionettes. They occur as a result of a widened angle between the fourth and fifth toes.

Narrow shoes or constant pressure alongside the edge of the foot is the usual cause of the problem. In fact, sometimes this condition is even called tailor's bunion. Clothing tailors sitting on the floor with their legs crossed put pressure on the lateral border of the foot. The result can be a bunionette.

In some people, the cause of this deformity with the soft tissue changes is unknown. Many patients aren't bothered by it and don't need any treatment. Others have pain, inflammation, and swelling.

The condition is treated first with appropriate shoe wear. Narrow shoes should be avoided. A shoe with a wide enough width for the widest part of the foot should be chosen. Padding and toe spacers help some people. If these measures don't improve the symptoms, then surgery may be needed.


Bruce E. Cohen, MD, and Christopher W. Nicholson, MD. Bunionette Deformity. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. May 2007. Vol. 15. No. 5. Pp. 300-307.


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