Treatments of the Smaller Toes

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Bunionette Deformity Correction

A bunionette deformity is an abnormal bony prominence, or bump, on the outer side at the base of the fifth toe (the "pinky toe") at the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ). The bony prominence can start out small and painless but become larger and more painful over time. When bunionettes become larger, it usually is because of growth of the bony prominence, a curved shape to the fifth MTPJ, or splaying of the fifth metatarsal away from the fourth metatarsal. The condition is also known as a tailor's bunion.

Fifth Metatarsal Osteotomy for Bunionette

A bunionette (also known as a tailor's bunion) is a painful bony prominence, or bump, on the outside of the fifth (little) toe. Over time, the bunionette may worsen as the fifth toe moves inward and the fifth metatarsal (the bone connected to it) moves outward. Rubbing between the bump and tight shoes may also cause a callus to grow over the fifth toe area. All bunionettes can cause pain and pressure on the outside of the foot, though often they do not cause symptoms.

An osteotomy is a surgically performed cut of the bone. A fifth metatarsal osteotomy refers to a cut in the head, neck, or shaft of the bone to make it straighter and the bony prominence smaller. This reduces rubbing on the outer side of the foot and decreases or eliminates the pain. 

Flexor to Extensor Tendon Transfer (Girdlestone-Taylor)

This surgery is used to treat flexible hammertoe deformity. A hammertoe deformity is one in which the toe is bent and looks like a hammer. A flexible deformity is one in which the toe can be manipulated into a straight position. This deformity can cause shoe problems, corns, and pain with walking.

Hammertoe Surgery

A hammertoe is a deformity that causes a toe to become bent upward in the middle so it resembles a hammer. This can cause the toe to rub against the top of the shoe or irritate the end of the toe by jamming it into the ground. Hammertoes often occur in conjunction with other toe problems. It is possible to develop corns (calluses) on top of the middle joint of the hammertoe from rubbing against the top of the shoe.

Patients who have hammertoes try to manage them by treating the symptoms. This involves padding the toe and changing or stretching shoes for comfort. If you still experience discomfort from the hammertoe you may consider surgery.

The hammertoe can be flexible or stiff. Depending on the flexibility of the toe and the preference of your orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon, several different surgeries are used to treat the hammertoe.