Tailor’s Bunion

A bony lump that forms outside your little toe is usually the first sign that you have a tailor’s bunion. This common foot condition is often painful and can easily impact a person’s daily life. Dr. Anant Joshi is happy to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan that helps relieve this chronic discomfort. 

Understanding the Tailor’s Bunion

To understand what a tailor’s bunion is, it helps to know the name’s origin. The tailor’s bunion name was derived hundreds of years ago. It is named after tailors who would sit cross-legged, pushing the outsides of their feet into the floor as they sewed. This patterned behavior resulted in frequent rubbing and pressure on the foot near the pinky, or small toe. Over time, many tailors noticed a bony outgrowth where the pinky toe connected to the foot. 

Tailor’s bunions are similar to regular bunions. However, bunions generally grow along the big toe, while the tailor’s bunion grows on the little toe. 

The Causes of a Tailor’s Bunion

This condition has a few possible causes. A common reason is a genetic predisposition. While a genetic disorder does not cause it, your foot’s specific physical characteristics can increase the risk. 

Tailor’s bunions are usually caused by frequent or excessive rubbing and pressure on the outside of the foot along the small toe. This irritation can cause redness and swelling. Eventually, the body responds by building a bony outgrowth. As the bunion continues to grow, it can become increasingly painful. 

Identifying a Tailor’s Bunion

The tailor’s bunion may occur on one or both feet. One may be larger or more uncomfortable than the other. Fortunately, an experienced podiatrist like Dr. Anant Joshi can quickly identify and diagnose this condition. However, x-rays may be required to understand the complexity of the issue. Many tailor’s bunions can impact the alignment of the little toe or structure of the foot. It is important to understand the extensiveness of the problem to develop an appropriate and effective treatment plan. 


If the tailor’s bunion is small and has not become painful or uncomfortable, it may be possible to simply relieve pressure. Once a bunion has formed, home remedies can provide comfort but will not eliminate the underlying bump. Some soothing home remedies include: 

  • Icing the affected area

  • Wearing shoes that fit properly

  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications

  • Placing a silicone pad over the tailor’s bunion to reduce rubbing and irritation

If these methods can no longer get rid of your discomfort, it’s important to seek the help of a podiatrist. Typically, a doctor can help with corticosteroid injections. Custom orthotics can help to relieve pressure and irritation at the site. If regular shoes are no longer an option, this can help ease discomfort without affecting your mobility. 

If all of these options are unsuccessful, Dr. Anant Joshi may recommend surgery as an option. Fortunately, the surgery to correct the tailor’s bunion is relatively minor. This operation is conducted on an outpatient basis, so you’ll be home the same day. 

The surgery involves making a small incision at the site of the bunion and then removing the bump. Some smoothing of the site may also be necessary, so there is no future irritation. 

As part of your recovery, you’ll need to get adequate rest and complete your physical therapy regimen. Finally, Dr. Anant Joshi will ensure that you are not wearing shoes that compress the area and recreate the issue. 

Contact Us at Advanced Foot Care of NJ, LLC

Whether you’ve just noticed a lump on the side of your foot, or you’ve been living with it for far too long, we can help! Dr. Anant Joshi is happy to serve patients in Woodland Park, NJ, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your appointment right away.