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Tailor’s Bunion Surgery

Conveniently located to serve Portland, Lake Oswego, & West Linn

Boutique Podiatry Oregon Institute of Foot Care Lake Oswego
little girl's feet who sleeps in her bed

What is Tailor’s Bunion/Bunionette?

A Tailor’s bunion (also called a bunionette) is a bony prominence that occurs on the outside side of the foot at the base of the little toe. The Tailor’s bunion is the rounded end of the fifth metatarsal bone (the bone on the outside of the forefoot leading to the 5th toe) that is slowly splaying away from the outer side of the foot.
A Tailor’s bunion develops as a result of abnormal mechanics of the foot in general and the fifth metatarsal bone in particular. The biggest factor that plays a role in determining abnormal foot mechanics is heredity.
The condition usually develops slowly over a period of years. The condition usually starts at a young age and slowly progresses over time, resulting in a deformity large enough to cause pain in the 40’s or later. However, the condition can occasionally progress more rapidly and become large enough to cause pain as early as teenage years. A Tailor’s bunion can be found equally developed on both feet or only one foot.


The condition is not always painful, but can be if the deformity is large enough. Pain can also occur if shoes are too tight, too pointed, or have heels that are too high. When pain is present, it usually is from shoe pressure on the Tailor’s bunion. Other times, pain can also occur at the bottom outside of the joint, where a callus can develop.


Treatment of the condition falls into non-surgical and surgical categories. The goal of non-surgical treatment is to eliminate pain. The goal of surgical treatment is to eliminate pain and correct the deformity. Non-surgical treatment usually does not correct the deformity.

Non-surgical Treatment

Dr. Manson recommends wearing appropriate shoes. The shoes should have a wide toe box and should be made of soft and flexible materials. High heels should not be worn. Purchase your shoes only after being properly measured for your length and width. Preferably, feet should be sized and shoes should be tried on and purchased later in the day to account for typical swelling. Padding can also be used to reduce pressure and irritation at the Tailor’s bunion.
Dr. Manson also recommends using ice on the painful area for 5-10 minutes, 1-3 times per day. The use of an oral or topical anti-inflammatory medication is often recommended. Dr. Manson will also file down any corns or calluses that are causing pain to the area.

Surgical Treatment

There are a number of different procedures Dr. Manson uses for surgical correction of Tailor’s bunions. In some cases, the surgery involves simply shaving off the bump. When the Tailor’s bunion is more severe, Dr. Manson often will remove the Tailor’s bunion bump and reposition the bone with a bone cut and screw to improve the alignment of the bone. The specific nature of the surgery required for the correction of your Tailor’s bunion is determined by Dr. Manson’s examination of your foot and in-office X-rays.
Young woman receiving feet massage in spa salon
The surgery is performed on only one foot at a time. Bone screws are often used to stabilize bone cuts and stay implanted permanently. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis at a surgery center, and you are allowed to bear weight on the foot after surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recovery process?
Tailor’s bunion surgery has a high success rate. While patients can walk immediately after surgery, return to normal-level activity takes 2-3 months (depending on the patient’s lifestyle). Full recovery may take 4-6 months for the swelling to resolve and the final cosmetic result to be seen.
What is the cost of Tailor’s bunion surgery?
Tailor’s bunion surgery is usually fully or partially covered by insurance if it is painful for you. Coverage by insurance is always checked prior to performing the surgery so you are aware of any costs to you.

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At Oregon Institute of Foot Care, we care about healthy, happy, beautiful feet. We strive to provide personalized foot care and achieve the outcomes, both functionally and cosmetically, that our patients desire. What sets OIFC apart is our dedication to providing the highest quality care available, utilizing the latest medical techniques and technologies, educating patients to make well-informed health care decisions, and restoring foot and ankle function as quickly and beautifully as possible. Our mission is to give you healthy, happy, beautiful feet.


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