T is for Tailor’s Bunions

November 5, 2012

Tailor’s bunions are so named as they used to hurt in tailors who once worked sitting cross legged.

Tailor's Bunions

A tailor’s bunion, also known as a bunionette, is a foot condition characterized by the development of a bony prominence at the base of the fifth metatarsal bone, which is the bone that connects to the little toe. The term “tailor’s bunion” originated from the historical association of this condition with tailors and their sitting cross-legged position while working.

In the past, tailors often sat on the ground or on low stools with their legs crossed, which placed pressure on the outside of their feet. This prolonged pressure on the fifth metatarsal bone and the surrounding tissues could lead to the development of a painful bony bump. The repetitive friction and pressure in that area contributed to the formation of the bunionette.

The name “tailor’s bunion” stuck over time, even though the condition is not exclusive to tailors and can affect anyone. The term is used to describe the specific location of the bony prominence at the base of the little toe, mirroring the traditional association with tailors.

The development of a tailor’s bunion is not solely caused by the sitting position of tailors. Other factors, such as foot structure, genetics, footwear choices, and certain biomechanical abnormalities, can contribute to the development of a tailor’s bunion in individuals who may not be tailors or engage in that specific sitting position.


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