Frequently asked questions – concerning tailor’s bunions
· What is a tailor’s bunion?
· How are tailor’s bunions treated?
· What is the principle behind the gentle operation method when treating tailor’s bunions?
· How is the post-operative treatment performed?
· Additional questions to the Joint Centre Berlin
What is a tailor’s bunion?
If there is too much of an angle between the 4th and 5th metatarsal bone and the 5th metatarsal head protrudes outwards to a large extent, this can lead to painful pressure sores on the sole of the foot in this area. This disease is referred to as tailor’s bunions or bunionettes (see Figures 1 and 2). The formation of the tailor’s bunion is promoted by an underlying splayfoot, in which there is a great widening of the forefoot in relation to the tarsal bones.
Figures 1 and 2 show an X-ray image and the corresponding schematic diagram of a tailor’s bunion. The skin at the outer edge of the foot is usually covered with hard skin and lends itself to a painful inflammation (marked red in Figure 2), as the head of the 5th metatarsal head protrudes too far outwards. As such, the angle between the 5th and 4th metatarsal bone is too large.
How are tailor’s bunions treated?
By wearing shoe inlays, the pain symptoms can at least be temporarily reduced, how-ever the cause of the problem cannot be resolved.
Ultimately, effective treatment can only be performed by surgery. The principles for eliminating the tailor’s bunion vary depending on the distance of the 5th metatarsal bone, however the 5th toe joint is destroyed up to the adjustment of the metatarsal bone and stabilisation takes place by means of wire, something which requires relief lasting weeks with the aid of crutches.
To avoid these disadvantages, we now perform a more gentle operation when treating tailor’s bunions.
What is the principle behind the gentle operation method when treating tailor’s bunions?
Tailor’s bunions are treated by changing the position of the metatarsal bone.
In doing so, a small wedge of bone is removed from the shaft of the 5th metatarsal bone. The resulting bony ends are joined with a small titanium plate which is fixed with screws (Figures 3 and 4).
How is the post-operative treatment performed?
Even if both feet are operated at the same time, patients are still able to stand up on the day of the operation and fully stress the feet. The stay in hospital is 3-4 days. The threads are removed after approx. 14 days. Approximately 9-12 months after the ope-ration, the titanium plate is removed in the outpatients department under local anesthetics. This procedure takes approx. 20 minutes. Patients can then leave the clinic immediately and fully stress the treated foot.
More information on tailor’s bunions can be found in the section Foot Surgery foot surgery.
It is self-evident that many questions remain unanswered.
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