Sometime back, my buddies and I decided to go hiking. It was a week long trip that comprised the guys only. It gave us time to enjoy nature and catch up. Most of us had been so caught up with work and family that we didn’t have time by ourselves. The trip had been planned for weeks and we were all excited.
Three days into the trip, one of my friends started slowing down. He needed constant breaks and was complaining about his sore little toe. The edge of the toe was completely swollen and the toe itself seemed to be riding upon the other toes.
“It’s a bunionette.” he exclaimed to us as he sat down and removed his hiking shoes. “Gets sore ever time it rubs on the boots surface.” He said as he examined it carefully. After a couple of minutes, I suggested he wear open shoes and we walk more slowly. “With open shoes, your toe won’t rub against any surface.” He did so and we had an exciting hiking trip.
Back then I didn’t know much about the bunionette. After that trip, I sought to know more about it.
What’s a bunionette?
A bunionette is one of the two types of bunions. It’s a bone deformity that affects the joint between the metatarsal bone and the little toe. The deformity is such that the joint protrudes outward forcing the little toe to point towards the other toes.
It’s also called the tailors bunion. This name was coined centuries ago when it was believed that tailors were the most likely to develop the condition. This is because they usually sat with their feet set at an angle such that the edge of the shoe at the small toe constantly rubbed along the floor.
Bunions are caused by wearing ill fitting shoes. Studies show that people who wear shoes that are too tight at the toe box and high heeled are at higher risk of developing the condition. However, there are health conditions that affect the foot which are believed to put people at higher risk. These conditions include having overly flexible ligaments, abnormal growth of the metatarsals and having flat feet.
Can the bunionette be managed?
Bunionettes can be quite painful. Managing them is therefore essential to ensure that you can comfortably walk. Some of the techniques you can use to manage the condition include the following include the following.
Wearing shoes that fit properly, or as was with the case with my friend open shoes will help you prevent aggravating the bunionette further. Wear shoes that are wide at the toe box and low heeled. This will protect the little toe against rubbing against the shoe surface.
Orthotics placed inside shoes help to balance out the body’s weight along the foot. As such, there won’t be too much pressure around the toes which is one of the reasons bunions develop.
For pain and inflammation, you should use ice or painkillers to provide relief.