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Do Bunion Correctors and Guards Really Work?


Bunion correctors are a conservative treatment option for patients who suffer from bunions, a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. While the most permanent and effective form of treatment for bunions is minimally invasive surgery, there are conservative techniques patients can practice to slow the progression of the condition and/or reduce pain symptoms.

A podiatrist, which is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the foot and ankle, may recommend changing your footwear, adding padding to your shoes, and taking pain relievers for discomfort. If some or all of these treatments do not provide adequate pain relief, then surgery will be advised. Still, patients usually like to exhaust all their options for care to avoid surgery, and we can understand this sentiment. Surgery is no fun for anyone.

So, patients often ask us questions about the safety and efficacy of bunion correctors and bunion guards – a type of over-the-counter orthotic that claims to correct the posture of the big toe. Other types of bunion correctors claim to relieve foot pain. Do these correctors have any merit? Our podiatrists provide their thoughts and professional opinions on these devices.

The Good

Bunion correctors and guards do have a place in the treatment of bunions, but it may not be what you think. Unfortunately, there is no medical research or data to support the claim that bunion correctors straighten the big toe. If your bunions are pretty severe, no plastic or elastic device is going to correct them. However, these correctors and splints may provide some pain relief to the big toe. They separate the big toe from the surrounding toes, which can help loosen the big toe’s tight muscles. This is about the extent of the a bunion corrector or guard.

The Bad

As we alluded to previously, there is no medical data to support the benefits of bunion correctors. They may offer pain relief and protection for the upper foot, but that’s about it. Ultimately, if your bunions are causing you a great deal of discomfort, it would be best for you to see a podiatrist at Specialty Surgical Center. Our team can walk you through the surgery and what to expect during the recovery phase. If you have any questions or concerns, call Specialty Surgical Center to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today!

Specialty Surgical Center is located in Sparta, New Jersey and our staff consists of board certified surgeons and anesthesiologists performing procedures in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Spinal Care, Podiatry, Urology, Pain Management, ENT, Hand Surgery, Lithotripsy, Brachytherapy, GYN and Laser Surgery.

For more information about Specialty Surgical Center, call 973-940-3166 or visit our Contact Page.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.