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5th Toe correction

What Is A Fifth Toe Bunion?

A fifth toe bunion, also known as a tailer’s bunion or bunionette, is a common condition that effects the 5th toe (also known as the little toe) and forefoot alignment of many Australians. It can occur at all stages of life. Often people experience pain and discomfort with a bump developing on the outside of their foot at the base of their 5th toe. The 5th toe may also migrate inwards toward the 4th toe, potentially rubbing and causing interdigital corns (heloma molle) or change the orientation and function of the 4th toe (see hammer toe surgery)

 

The bump is caused by a change in the alignment of bones in the toe and at the 5th Metatarsal phalangeal joint, the joint where the 5th toe attaches to the foot.

 

Treatment should be considered if you are experiencing discomfort in everyday shoes, a loss of function or restriction in activities, or you have regular pain.

How Are Fifth Toe Bunions Treated?

Fifth toe Bunions can be treated conservatively or with surgical correction. It is important to consider conservative treatment before pursuing surgical options.

 

Dr Pocklington is both a Podiatric Surgeon (foot and ankle specialist surgeon) and trained podiatrist with extensive understanding of the form and function of the foot before and after surgery. This includes consideration of conservative as well as surgical intervention and the overall function (biomechanics of your foot).

 

Conservative care for a 5th toe bunion includes accommodation and support with shoe modification, intrinsic muscles strengthening, as well as taping and strapping and more. While a 5th toe bunion cannot be corrected via conservative measures, comfort and function can be maximised without the need for surgical intervention. Dr Pocklington can fully assess your toe and feet to determine which treatment is best for you.

When Should I Consider Fifth Toe Bunion Surgery?

If conservative measures are not able to alleviate your discomfort or the deviation of your 5th toe is significant and causing pain in your 4th toe or webspace then 5th toe bunion surgery should be considered. The goal of surgery is to restore the normal shape and function of the 5th toe and foot.

 

The key result is reduction or resolution of pain and a healthy return to normal activities and footwear. As a Podiatric Surgeon, Dr Pocklington is a foot and ankle specialist trained extensively in procedures used to treat 5th toe bunions and can assist you in deciding whether surgery is right for you.

What Will My Surgery Involve?

5th toe bunion correction can be performed with several different approaches and combinations of procedures. Determining the correct procedure involves a thorough examination of your foot and medical history. Generally, surgery will be performed at the head or base of the fifth metatarsal, but surgery can also involve the phalangeal bones of the toe. 5th toe bunion correction may also be performed in combination with other procedures to correct other problematic congenital positions of the 5th toe.

 

The surgery will involve an incision and surgical fracture (cut) to one or more bones in your foot, allowing the bones to be manipulated and realigned. The cuts are then fixated with screws or other fixation devices including surgical plates or wire.

 

Each procedure is appropriate for certain presentations and severity of condition. Similarly, each has advantages and risks that Dr Pocklington will discuss with you in detail prior to your surgery. Most procedures take between 15 minutes and half an hour to perform. Anaesthetic injections are used to numb your foot locally in all cases, but an anaesthetist will also provide either a general anaesthetic or IV sedation.

What Will My Surgery Involve?

5th toe bunion correction can be performed with several different approaches and combinations of procedures. Determining the correct procedure involves a thorough examination of your foot and medical history. Generally, surgery will be performed at the head or base of the fifth metatarsal, but surgery can also involve the phalangeal bones of the toe. 5th toe bunion correction may also be performed in combination with other procedures to correct other problematic congenital positions of the 5th toe.

 

The surgery will involve an incision and surgical fracture (cut) to one or more bones in your foot, allowing the bones to be manipulated and realigned. The cuts are then fixated with screws or other fixation devices including surgical plates or wire.

 

Each procedure is appropriate for certain presentations and severity of condition. Similarly, each has advantages and risks that Dr Pocklington will discuss with you in detail prior to your surgery. Most procedures take between 15 minutes and half an hour to perform. Anaesthetic injections are used to numb your foot locally in all cases, but an anaesthetist will also provide either a general anaesthetic or IV sedation.

Care and Recovery After Surgery

Usually 5th toe bunion surgery is a day procedure allowing you to immediately weight bear on your foot in a stiff sole surgical shoe. Sometimes people stay overnight at a private hospital and return home the following day.

 

Pain relief after surgery usually involves a combination of painkillers and anti-inflammatories, but significant pain relief is often unnecessary. Paracetamol is usually all that is required within the first week.

 

Bony healing usually occurs 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery and during this time restricted activities, including time off work is recommended. Dressings are removed and replaced at 1 week, giving you an opportunity to see your progress and discuss it with Dr Pocklington. Sutures are usually removed at 2 weeks. The process of healing after surgery is important and requires ongoing attention from your surgeon. A podiatric range of motion exercise and stretching rehabilitation program begins immediately to ensure function is returned to the foot, toe and your life as soon as possible.

 

Please book online to speak with Dr Pocklington about 5th toe bunion correction.

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