bunionette pain from high heelsBunionettes, which are similar to bunions but occur at the base of the pinky toe, can cause pain and discomfort. At Khosroabadi Institute, we offer minimally invasive bunionette surgery to help patients prevent even the most stubborn bunionettes from coming back. 

What Are Bunionettes?

Bunionettes have multiple causes, including poor fitting footwear, inherited foot shape or structure, trauma, and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

  • Poor-fitting footwear. Improper shoe choices can cause the toes to become squeezed together unnaturally. This puts pressure on the base of the fifth toe and can lead to bunionette formation.
  • Genetics. Inherited foot shape or structure can cause an imbalance in the feet, leading to increased pressure on a particular area of the foot. This increase in pressure can lead to bunionette formation.
  • Trauma. A blow or fall that injures the foot could result in misalignment of the bones and soft tissues and lead to a bunionette. 
  • Inflammation. Inflammatory diseases such as arthritis can cause bunionettes due to an adverse reaction from swelling, stiffness, and mobility issues that affect foot alignment.

Symptoms of Bunionettes

Bunionettes are associated with several common symptoms, including pain in the area of the fifth toe, a callus or bony bump on the outside of the foot near the pinky toe, and difficulty wearing shoes.

  • Pain in the area of the fifth toe. This can range from mild to severe discomfort depending on how long it has been present and how advanced it is.
  • A callus or bony bump. This can form at the base of the fifth toe due to a misalignment caused by bunions. The callus or bump is often accompanied by redness and swelling due to inflammation in that area.
  • Difficulty wearing shoes. It can be painful or difficult to wear certain types of shoes, like high heels, when you have a bunionette. 

Diagnosing Bunionettes

A podiatrist is most qualified to diagnose bunionettes due to their specialized training in foot anatomy and biomechanics.

During a physical exam, your doctor will inspect your feet for any signs of deformity or swelling that could indicate bunionette formation. They may also ask questions about your family history, lifestyle habits, and past injuries.

X-rays are another way to diagnose bunionettes, as they can provide a detailed image of the bones and soft tissues in your feet. This allows the doctor to better understand the alignment of your foot and any potential misalignments that could be causing pain or discomfort.

Treating Bunionettes

In mild cases, lifestyle changes such as stretching or changing the type of shoes you wear can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with bunionettes. Wearing wider, softer shoes that do not pinch the toes can be beneficial in reducing pressure on the area and relieving some of the symptoms associated with bunions.

Surgical procedures are an option for those with severe bunionettes that cannot be managed with lifestyle modifications. Surgery is often used to realign the bones and soft tissues to restore normal alignment and alleviate pain and discomfort. Khosroabadi Institute uses an advanced minimally invasive method that allows Dr. Alireza Khosroabadi, DPM, to realign the bone and smooth its edges, effectively “removing” the bony bump while making a 5mm incision.

Many people who need surgery for a bunionette are worried about the potential time missed from work or the associated activity restrictions. It can take six or more weeks to resume regular activity after traditional bunionette surgery, but Dr. K’s cutting-edge AMI-BUNIONETTE® procedure can help patients get back on their feet much faster and with significantly less discomfort. 

Are You Ready for Bunionette Surgery?

The thought of foot surgery might be scary, but when you learn about Dr. K's minimally-invasive technique for correcting bunionettes, you'll be relieved to know there's little scarring and only a few days of downtime. Schedule an appointment in Woodland Hills—or meet Dr. K for a virtual consultation—to find out if AMI-BUNIONETTE™ bunionette surgery is an option for you.