This condition is a bony prominence that forms at the base of the little toe. It is similar to a traditional bunion (a large bump that forms at the base of the big toe), but a bunionette forms on the outer side of the foot. Bunionettes are not as common as regular bunions.
A bunionette is most often caused by an inherited structural abnormality of the bones, ligaments and tendons at the
metatarsophalangeal joint of the fifth toe. These abnormalities can allow increased flexibility of the fifth toe, and this flexibility can result in the fifth toe shifting out of proper alignment with the metatarsal bone of the foot. The toe can gradually become partially dislocated, turning inward toward the fourth toe and exposing the head of the metatarsal. Once this happens, the head of the metatarsal can be subjected to constant pressure from ill-fitting shoes, causing a bony bump to form. This bump is a bunionette.
The most obvious symptom of a bunionette is a bony prominence at the base of the fifth toe. The skin at the bunion may be thickened and calloused, and the bump may be tender and painful. A person with a bunionette may have
trouble finding comfortable shoes.
Common treatment options include use of specialized orthotics to lessen pressure on the affected area and small pads that cushion the outside of the feet. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the bunionette and realign the bones of the foot and toe.