Washington Bunion Center

  • Tailor's Bunion (Bunionette)

    What is a Tailor’s Bunion?   

    A tailor’s bunion is a bunion that occurs on the little toe where the metatarsal bone meets the little toe. It is also referred to as a bunionette.

    Causes and Symptoms
    Tailor’s bunion is a deformity caused when the head of the metatarsal is pushed outwards. The result is often a painful and swollen protrusion from the side of the foot. Bunions are a progressive disorder and as a result any pain and discomfort will likely become worse over time. They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent. With tailor’s bunions there is a potential for lesions to occur from abrasion, typically from footwear causing irritation.

    Symptoms usually appear at later stages, although some people may never have symptoms. Bunions are a common foot deformity that can be inherited or occur as a result of repeated stress to the joint.  It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion. Not wearing proper sized footwear that crowd one’s toes will not cause bunions, however it can contribute to the progression of the deformity. As a result, symptoms may appear sooner with improper footwear. The constant pressure and rubbing that footwear can produce will irritate a tailor’s bunion and contribute to the progression of the disorder.

    Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:

    • Pain or soreness
    • Inflammation and redness
    • A burning sensation

    Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.

    Bunions are readily apparent and the prominence is visible. However, to fully evaluate the condition, the foot and ankle surgeon may take x-rays to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred. Because bunions are progressive, they don’t go away, and will usually get worse over time. But not all cases are alike – some bunions progress more rapidly than others. Once your bunion has been evaluated, a treatment plan can be developed to suit your needs.

    Non-Surgical Treatment
    Most people however, find relief from wearing soft, pliable shoes, and arch supports, and from applying ice to the sore toe joint Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that’s needed. To reduce the chance of damage to the joint, periodic evaluation and x-rays by your surgeon are advised.

    In many other cases, however, some type of treatment is needed. Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself. These include:

    • Changes in footwear. Wearing the right kind of shoes that provide enough room for your foot is important. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and avoid those with pointed toes or high heels which cause the toes to crowd and may aggravate the condition.
    • Padding. Pads or moleskin placed over the area of the bunion can minimize pain. These can be obtained from your surgeon or purchased at a drug store.
    • Activity modifications. Avoid activity that causes bunion pain, including standing for long periods of time.
    • Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. Talk to your doctor about which pain reliever is best for you.
    • Icing. Applying an ice pack several times a day helps reduce inflammation and pain. During periods of rest/icing, try to elevate your leg.
    • Injection therapy. Injections of corticosteroids may be useful in treating the inflamed bursa (fluid-filled sac located around a joint) sometimes seen with bunions.
    • Orthotic devices. In some cases, custom orthotic devices may be provided by the foot and ankle surgeon.

    When Is Surgery Needed?
    Severe bunions may need to be surgically corrected. A variety of surgical procedures is available to treat bunions. Surgical procedures are designed to remove the “bump” of bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot, and correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred. The goal of surgery is to reconstruct the foot and therefore reducing pain.


    Bunions and Tailor's Bunions are one of the most common conditions that we treat.
    Because we treat so many patients with bunions we have developed a division of Issaquah Foot and Ankle Specialists that is dedicated to effective bunion treatments.

    Visit the Washington Bunion Center website today to learn more about bunions, Tailor's bunions and our effective treatments.

  • Bunion Treatments

    How do the doctors of the Washington Bunion Center treat bunions?

    Depending upon the severity and progression of the disorder non-surgical options are typically preferred. If left untreated bunions will progress and typically become increasingly painful. This can cause restricted or painful motion of the big toe (small toe for a Tailor’s bunion) resulting in decreased activity levels, inability to wear common footwear and the development of corns.

    Non-Surgical Bunion Treatments

    After an evaluation of a patients bunion(s), sometimes observation of the bunion is all that’s needed. To reduce the chance of damage to the joint, periodic evaluation and x-rays may be recommended.

    However, in many cases some type of treatment is needed. Early treatments are aimed at easing Bunions can prove painful, get bunion treatments from the Washington Bunion Centerthe pain of bunions, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself. Some of these treatments include wearing proper fitting footwear, avoiding narrow pointed shoes, or the addition of padding to footwear.  Padding and taping will provide some cushion to the area and may reduce friction, swelling and sensitivity. Orthotics or shoe inserts can provide relief. However, prescription orthotics are often more helpful.  These prescription orthotics are made specifically to address your unique issues that many of the over the counter orthotics cannot address. Modifying activities that aggravate this condition may be necessary, ice and anti-inflammatory medications can help with swelling and pain.

    Non-surgical treatments are preferred by both doctor and patient and there are a variety of devices and treatment options available. The best way to relieve the pain and take steps to address the progressiveness of the disorder is to have your bunion(s) evaluated. As the bunion continues to progress untreated non-surgical treatments become less effective.

    Because they are bone deformities, bunions do not resolve themselves. The goals of bunion treatment are to relieve the pressure and pain caused by irritations and limit the progressive growth of the bunion. Common methods used for reducing the pressure and pain caused by bunions include:

    • Protective padding, often from felt materials, to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
    • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
    • Changing to carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
    • Orthotics are used to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
    • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
    • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly. This is often recommended for adolescents with bunions, because their bone development may still be adaptable.

    If a bunion disorder progresses to the point when surgery is needed, what are the options?

    Surgical Treatment

    Depending on the size of the enlargement, misalignment of the toe, and pain experienced, conservative treatments may not be adequate to prevent progressive damage from bunions. In these cases, bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, may be advised to remove the bunion and realign the toe.

    When Is Surgery Needed?
    Severe bunions may need to be surgically corrected. A variety of surgical procedures are available to treat bunions. Surgical procedures are designed to remove the “bump” of bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot, and correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred. The goal of surgery is to reconstruct the foot and therefore reducing pain.

    Visit our bunion surgery page for more information about this form of treatment.

  • Bunion Pain

    Are you experiencing pain related to a bunion?

    If you experience pain on the inside of your foot at the joint of your big toe and experience the following, it is likely a bunion…

    • Swelling or redness in the same region
    • A burning sensation or numbness in your big toe
    • Decreased range of motion of your big toe joint
    • Painful bursa (fluid-filled sac) on the inside of your foot at the big toe joint
    • Pain in this area while wearing shoes – especially shoes too narrow or high heeled shoes
    • Pain in this area during activities
    • Development of  a corn in between your big toe and second toe
    • Callous formation in this region

    You do not have to live with a painful bunion that prevents you from participating in activities or wearing your favorite pair of shoes. Bunions are a progressive disorder that if left untreated may require surgery to reconstruct the foot. Many people will deal with bunion pain until it becomes unbearable and by this point surgery is more commonly recommended if the deformity has progressed to this point. There are corrective measures that can be performed to correct or slow the progression of a bunion deformity so early intervention is best.

    What can be done about bunion pain?

    In addition to the bunion treatments provided by the Washington Bunion Center many people find some relief from these simple tips:

    Wear shoes with a wide toebox
    A little extra room can go a long way to easing the pain and pressure on your toes.

    High heels can lead to high levels of pain
    If you cannot avoid wearing high heels, or shudder at the thought, wear them in moderation.
    Wear shoes that fit properly
    We are putting together a quick guide for finding the right shoes for bunion sufferers. Check back as we continue to put it together. Once we have it complete we will email it out to you if you like. So please check back soon for a link here. Here is a tip in the meantime… Did you know that your feet are often slightly larger toward the end of the day? After spending time on your feet your feet will swell slightly and because of this we recommend that this is the best time for shoe shopping.

    There are many devices, pads and cushions that used to ease the pain of bunions. The local drugstore likely has a variety of options. However, it may be best to have us evaluate your bunions and we can recommend the best solution that will provide you with relief.

    Did you know that bunions are hereditary? Not the bunions themselves, but the structure of your feet that leads to the development of bunions is hereditary. The structure of your feet will predispose you to certain foot conditions and bunions are no exception. Orthotics are custom made devices that provide the correct type of support your feet need based on their unique structure. Orthotic devices are available at your local drugstore, however they do not provide the unique support that your feet need. Custom made prescription orthotics address many issues that are related to ones unique foot structure and gait.

    Slip off your shoes once in a while
    When you have the chance to let your feet out of restricting shoes, take advantage of it.

    The best course of action
    Bunions are progressive and can become painful protrusions of the foot that can affect your ability to enjoy your favorite activities, or even your favorite shoes. Therefore, the best course of action is early evaluation and treatment. To have your bunions evaluated request an appointment today using the link below or call us.

    Bunion Treatments

    Start learning about the latest bunion treatments provided by the Washington Bunion Center.

  • Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy
    The Bellevue foot surgery Center gets quite a few questions about minimally invasive bunionectomies. Minimally invasive bunionectomies refer to a very small incision to decrease the appearance of scarring and some doctors report quicker recovery times. The Bellevue Foot Surgery Center has performed thousand surgical procedures and from experience we continued there is no quick fix or minimally invasive technique for the majority of bunions. The most important thing when contemplating bunion surgery is proper procedure selection and this dictates the size of your incision. Very small bunions we can perform a minimally invasive incision however by the time most people like to have surgery for bunionectomy there bunions are fairly large. However, the fact that we perform so many bunionectomies we normally can keep our incisions fairly small and have advanced protocols to increase recovery injury to back to your preoperative activities. We have taken years to perfect our protocols and will guide with the postoperative course including physical therapy, nutritional supplements, bone healing and other advanced techniques or outcome. If you have a bunion or contemplating surgery and live in Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Maple Valley please call the Bellevue Foot Surgery Center a division of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists at 425-391-8666.
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