Tailor’s Bunion Treatment? You’ve Officially Hit Midlife

Tailor's Bunion Treatment--You've Officially Hit Midlife

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Blech. ”Bunion”. Even the word is yucky. The world “bunion” makes me think of whiny old women, massaging their feet in hotel restrooms during big events I’ve attended. I never paid much attention to all of that though, mostly because I don’t like whiny old women. Plus–I rarely wear high heels, which I’ve always heard causes bunions. So because of my shoe choices, I never saw bunions as a problem I’d ever have. However, it turns out I have Tailor’s bunions, which is something you may not be familiar with. This post, as part of my focus to improve our physical health, is going to talk about Tailor’s bunion treatment, and explain why I’m going to be off of my feet for the next several weeks.

No joke. Bunion pain is a real thing.

Bunions are one of the things about the aging process we all joke about, probably because the word is so funny to say. Also because bunions involve our feet. We don’t usually talk much about our feet, do we? Generally we just stuff them into our shoes and head off, expecting them to carry our load and get us where we need to go.

Plus–feet can get so nasty as we age, can’t they? We’ve all seen those scary feet at the beach, or at WalMart, poking out of someone’s flip-flops or sandals. Good grief–how do people go out of the house like that? No wonder we don’t like to discuss feet.

Let’s look at the reality though. Fact is, our feet don’t get enough credit. They support our weight during our entire life. Think of every single place you’ve ever been, going all the way back to when you were tripping over the carpet as a baby. Wherever you’ve been, it’s because your feet got you there.

My feet have been all over the world–literally. I’ve walked all over Europe, throughout Ethiopia, all over the United States, much of Central and South America–I have some serious miles on my feet, so it’s no wonder they need a tuneup.

Tailor’s bunions result from the inflammation of a bone.

Tailor’s bunions frequently happen because you have faulty foot structure, not necessarily because of improper shoe wear. If you have a Tailor’s bunion, it’s more than likely your individual foot has structural design flaws that you were born with.

A Tailor’s bunion shows up as a lump on the outside of your foot, at the base of your small toe. They named it after tailors, who back in the day sat crossed-legged as they sewed, putting pressure on the outsides of their feet.

My foot before surgery
Omigosh. Never thought I’d have the nerve to put a picture of my crazy foot up on the Internet. However–you may have a Tailor’s bunion too, and not realize that’s what it is. See the bump underneath my pinky toe? And how the rest of my toes are pulled out of line? There you have it. My foot’s crazy design. Plus–we now have a ‘before’ shot for comparison.

I remember when I was about twelve or so, I first started having trouble fitting into slip-on shoes.

Without understanding the reasons (which are my wide toe base and high arch) I always gravitated towards lace-ups, or Mary Jane styles. They were just more comfortable, and always fit my feet better.

I now understand that my foot has an unusual structural design.

As I’ve aged, the problems with my feet have only accelerated. My feet have become even wider, and the bunion on my small toe that first showed up when I was twelve has now become much more pronounced.

Bunion treatment starts simply.

You start with pain medicines, cushions to wear inside your shoes, and perhaps some cortisone injections. Most likely, you’ll be advised to wear different shoes, if you haven’t already realized that’s a good idea. Your individual doctor may also suggest other non-surgical techniques, depending upon your individual case.

Over time though–these things may not help enough. Despite your many efforts at managing the changes in your feet, bunion pain may start to impact your mobility, as it has mine.

As a result of the changes in my feet, I’ve become much less active. In the past, I participated in triathlons, and used to run 5k’s rather regularly. Now however, I sometimes hobble a bit, especially on days I need to spend a lot of time on my feet.  Because I’ve become less active, I’ve put on weight, which has only increased the load my feet must bear.

It’s been a vicious circle.

So this week, I’m going to go through Tailor’s bunion removal surgery, and also have a few other necessary structural modifications made to my foot.

This will all be done as an outpatient procedure, so I should be able to go home the day of the surgery. During the procedure, my foot surgeon is going to have to break several of my bones, and then screw them back into the correct position. I understand he’s also going to saw off much of the bunion itself. (Doesn’t this sound awful?)

I’ll go home in a cast that I’ll have to wear for a few weeks. For the remainder of my healing, which is supposed to take several months, I’ll be wearing a special boot .

Then once everything has healed up nicely, we’ll do the other foot.

Surgery as part of my Tailor’s bunion treatment is something I’ve been putting off for as long as I can.

There’s a fairly long recovery period with bunion removal. You’re not allowed to put any weight on your mending bones as they are healing, which means my mobility will be even worse for the next few months. Plus–any surgery is painful, so who wants that?

The good news is this: I’m really looking forward to being more mobile once everything has healed. Quite honestly, the only thing that feels old about me are my feet. Once I get them squared away, I feel confident I’ll be much more active and sports-minded, which is something I’ve really missed.

Up to this point, my Tailor’s bunion treatment has been much less dramatic than what I’ll be doing this week.

As my feet have changed, I’ve managed by taking over the counter, and occasionally prescription medicine for the pain my feet have caused me.

I’ve modified the kinds of shoes I’ve worn, and stayed off of my feet as much as possible in my day to day living.

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Based upon my personal experience, I’ve found these to be the best shoes for Tailor’s bunions.

The Allegria shoes I received for Christmas.
I received these Allegria shoes as a gift, and love them for winter. They have a black base, with a colored floral pattern. They go with about 98% of my wardrobe so far!

I’ve purchased several different pairs of shoes to try and manage my foot issues, and found I really prefer Allegria shoes. They have the Mary Jane style that I favor, and the toe box is large enough that I don’t feel pain when I’m wearing them. Additionally, the foot bed is molded for support, but the foot bed can also be removed if your doctor has prescribed specific orthotics for you.

I also love that Allegria offers lots of different patterns and styles, to match whatever your wardrobe calls for. I’ve never wanted to wear ‘old-lady shoes’, and feel like these don’t give off that frumpy appearance so many ‘comfortable’ shoes have. This is my newest pair, which I received as a Christmas gift. Aren’t they adorable? Hard to tell they’re a therapeutic shoe choice!

So there you have it. Everything I can share so far about Tailor’s bunions.

Which is something I never thought I’d write about, to be honest. And obviously, I’m not a doctor, so don’t listen to me for specifics–go talk to your doctor if you have foot trouble, too.

One of my readers who follows also me on my Instagram page made a comment about troublesome feet, so I know it’s an issue many of us have as Midlife Women. So shout out! Let me hear your thoughts or questions.

I’ll keep you posted on how my surgery goes, with some “after” pictures as my healing process takes place.

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**Chanler Jeffers has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent and was a single parent for many years. She has survived cancer, and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.

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  1. Good article. I have tailor’s bunions too I also had no clue for years that I did. That was up until the pain kicked in. So far I have done all of the conservative treatments and the bones on both feet are too far splayed out to do much help. Heck my toe in actually rubbing against my fourth toe on my left foot.

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the article! Yes, the splaying out of our feet is one of the worst parts. I refer to them as “Donald Duck” feet, because they’re really wide at the front, and then very narrow at the heel. My foot surgeon explained that the surgery won’t make my feet much narrower, but they will be much more well-shaped. And finding shoes will be much less problematic. I’m healing nicely, and look forward to getting the other one done, too. I hope you can find some relief too! Thanks again for your comment, and welcome aboard! 🙂

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