Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Possible Alternatives To Tailor's Bunion Surgery

Hi, my name is Anna Frye.  I am currently living with bunions.  My left foot has a bunion and a tailor's bunion.  My right foot had a tailor's bunion removed surgically.

A tailor's Bunion or Bunionette is similar to a bunion.  The name tailor's Bunion hails from decades ago, at a time when tailors would sit cross-legged all day, and the outside of their feet would rub on the ground.  This is how the bony enlargement of the fifth toe came to pass.  On the other hand, a bunion is a bump at the base of the big toe.

There are probable causes for the progression of a tailor's bunion. Genes can play a role in the handing down of malformations or deformities in the structure of the foot.  Additional changes in the foot occur because of age, health, physical activity, etc.   

Most of the time, footwear that is too constricting will cause the bunion or tailor's bunion to grow.  As we mature the foot expands.  If the foot is regularly compressed into a tapered or pointy shoe or shoes with a restricting toe box, this will cause a bunion on the big toe and a tailor's bunion on the fifth toe.

Most issues dealing with bunions are caused by inadequate shoes, especially if there are already bunions present on the foot.  Over time, the stress and rubbing from the shoes causes the foot pain and inflammation, which creates a hard callus.  The fastest way to decrease the pressure and friction is by a modification in footwear.  If necessary, the pressure can be treated from within by medical procedures to the tailor's bunion.

If you are hesitant about bunion surgery as I was, I have listed below some ideas to help relieve pain and pressure.  

1. Bunion Splint.  I purchased the AlphaOrthotics Bunion Aid, which helps to realign the big toe on mild to moderate bunions.  Please note, this item is for bunions, not tailor's bunions.

2. Toe Spreading Gel Bunion Shield.  This is another preventative method for bunions (not tailor's bunions).  It is comfortable and soft.  I tend to use this product the most. It can be worn in a shoe or at night while sleeping.

3. YogaToes.  According to their website they guarantee a one step natural program to relieve foot pain caused by tight shoes and high heels, and being on your feet all day.  They are said to help improve and prevent several foot problems, one being bunions.

4. Shoes. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box, and avoid shoes with a constrictive/narrow area for the toes (toe box) or high heels.

5. Bunion pads help relieve pressure and reduce pain.

6. Anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can help with pain and inflammation.

7. Cortisone injections treat inflamed tissue around the joint.

8. Orthotics help to support and disperse your weight over the entire surface of the foot.

9. Another option are toe exercises, such as:
  • Picking up marbles.  Lay 20 marbles on the floor in front of you and pick them up one by one and place them in a bowl.
  • Big toe pulls.  Wrap a thick rubber band around both big toes and pull them away from each other.  Hold each repetition for two to three seconds.
  • Toe stretches.  Point your toes straight ahead for 5 seconds and then curl them under for 5 seconds.  Repeat these stretches 10 times.
If none of the above help in relieving the pain and pressure of a bunion or tailor's bunion, you may need to seek the opinion of a professional.  In which case you will want to contact your local foot and ankle doctor/podiatrist.  The doctor will be able to examine your feet, take X-rays, and further advise on how to proceed with treatment.  If that is the case, com checkout what I went through after my Tailor's Bunion surgery. Go to to find out my discovery, surgery and recovery of my Tailors Bunion.