What Are Bunions?
Bunions are prominent and inflamed heads of the metatarsal joints which are associated with hallux valgus – the movement of the great toe towards the second toe. They are often associated with pain as well as problems with walking and wearing normal shoes .
What Are the Risk Factors for Bunions?
Bunions are much more common in women; this is because hallux valgus is more prevalent amongst them. The use of certain footwear can also contribute to the deformity.
Examples of such footwear include tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes. Individuals with hypermobility of their joints can also develop hallux valgus. Almost 1 in 4 individuals between the age of 18 and 65 have hallux valgus .
What Is A Bunion Corrector Sleeve?
A bunion correct sleeve is a thin foot and toe sleeve which is worn over the foot on a daily basis. The bunion corrector sleeve spaces out the toes while it is in use and might provide slight relief to the individual.
What are the Benefits of a Bunion Corrector Sleeve?
Although there are no long-term and validated research studies in the literature which definitively prove the benefits of a bunion corrector sleeve, there are several theoretical benefits which have been proposed:
- Maintaining correction of the hallux valgus post-operatively to encourage healing
- Helping to stretch the ligaments and tendons of the foot
- Helping to break scar tissue apart
Can Bunion Corrector Sleeves correct Hallux Valgus?
The evidence suggests that conservative management of hallux valgus can result in a reduction of pain, and relief of inflammation of the metatarsal head (i.e. the bunion).
Toe spreaders, splints and bunion shields have been successfully applied to individuals with moderate-severe bunions [3-5]. However, to date, there is no robust evidence that suggests that corrector sleeves can effectively correct the bunion deformity.
Are there any Side Effects from wearing Bunion Corrector Sleeves?
Most bunion corrector sleeves are manufactured with medical grade flexible fabric material that is hypoallergenic and suitable even for sensitive skin. The sleeves are also designed to be worn under socks and shoes.
Individuals who expose their feet to wet areas (e.g. military personnel, dock workers etc.) should allow their feet to breathe periodically to avoid the development of fungal infections such as ringworm.
How do I use the Bunion Corrector Sleeve?
We recommend initiating the usage of the bunion corrector sleeve by wearing it for 1 hour at first. Gradually increase the period of usage by 30-60 minutes until you can wear it comfortably throughout the day. It is important for the muscles, tendons, and soft tissue in your feet to adjust to the stretching conferred by the sleeve.
* Please consult your physician prior to the use of the bunion corrector sleeve. Every bunion is different and can vary in severity; severe cases may require operative intervention for symptom relief.
Dr. Joel Rice (MBBS)
National University of Singapore
1. Ferrari, J., Bunions. BMJ clinical evidence, 2009. 2009: p. 1112.
2. Park, C.H. and M.C. Chang, Forefoot disorders and conservative treatment. Yeungnam University journal of medicine, 2019. 36(2): p. 92-98.
3. Hecht, P.J. and T.J. Lin, Hallux valgus. Med Clin North Am, 2014. 98(2): p. 227-32.
4. Tehraninasr, A., et al., Effects of insole with toe-separator and night splint on patients with painful hallux valgus: a comparative study. Prosthet Orthot Int, 2008. 32(1): p. 79-83.
5. Cha, Y.H., et al., Designing personalized toe spreaders for hallux valgus with three-dimensional scanning and printing. Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Biosciences (JBEB), 2018. 5(1): p. 1-6.