Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tailor's Bunions

Call it the "buionnette" or the Tailor's bunion but that fact is that it attacks the fifth metatarsophalangeal joint of the outside toe. It is the case of the head of the fifth metatarsal which is the foot bone that becomes partially dislocated in such a way that it joins up with the toes, and that what the bump really develops into, starting from the base of the toe. This is not the standard bunion however, which develops on the inside of the foot, but the fact is that the symptoms in both the cases share many traits.
The name of the Tailor's bunion originates from the manner in which the tailors used to sit, cross legged, in such a way that the outer area of the planted foot used to rub against the ground, and that's how a bunion usually develops, at the base of the toe itself.
There is redness, inflammation and/or pain at the bunion and these are the primary symptoms, and in addition to that the skin may also become softer than usual. The victim usually feels the discomfort when he is standing for a long time or wearing footwear.
Unorthodox movement patterns, coming out of the of the unusual foot structures is the primary culprit behind the formation of the bunion. Whatever the case may be, the footwear one has also plays a profound role in promoting bunions, with the result that the repetitive rubbing of the foot against the surface of the footwear one way or the other exposes the head of the metatarsal, more so if one does not exercise caution.
Because it is prominently visible, the detection of a bunion is not difficult at all, but one needs to use the x- ray to determine how much the damage has been done. There are conservative treatments that prove beneficial for curing bunions, these are:
Footwear modification: Wide toe box shoes are recommended, while high heels and constrictive shoes are discouraged.
Using bunionette or corn pads: Pressure, friction and discomfort are reduced.
Painkillers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) work best to prevent inflammation and pain.
Ice: The classic ice pack reduces pain and swelling.
Orthotic devices: Orthotics corrects the foot and toe alignment, while ensuring that the biomechanics as well as the uneven pressures are corrected.
If the abovementioned methods do not prove fruitful then one might try the corticosteroid injections. The main disadvantage here is that being steroids, their long term effects can prove to be harmful and therefore they are mostly not recommended.
Like steroids, surgery as an option is only recommended when the severity of the bunions is extreme and none of the conservative treatments seem to have any sort of effect on the bunions. The surgery is not usually painless and the removal of protrusions is often a delicate process, sometimes even requiring pins to correctly align the toes as well. The patient also faces the disadvantage of reduced ability to move due to the pain involved on the process. However, it is likely that the tailor's bunion is easily removed by just employing the traditional, conservative methods and the use of steroids or surgery is almost never required.

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