German engineers have developed a flexible hinged splint that may correct bunions without surgery.
A bunion — Hallux valgus — is a foot dysfunction where the big toe is malpositioned.
The study examined 20 cases of light to moderate Hallux valgus and compared the effectiveness of a traditional rigid night-splint and the Bunion Aid flexible hinged splint.
Dr. Klaus A. Milachowski of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, said the subjects wore both the night splint and the Bunion Aid splint and malpositioning of the big toe was measured. The post-test examinations showed Hallux valgus could be corrected to normal values using the Bunion Aid splint. The starting Hallux valgus angle was an average 28.8 degrees. The night splint reduced the angle to an average 18.4 degrees. Bunion Aid reduced the angle to 11.6 degrees.
The German radiological studies prove that it is actually possible to correct the Hallux valgus angle to normal values using the Bunion Aid splint, said Alice Flaherty, of Alpha Orthotics Corporation, makers of the Bunion Aid.
The splint can be used as a conservative pain reduction treatment option that may help avoid or postpone the need for invasive surgery.