What are Best Bunion Splints?
Best Bunion Splints are splints used to treat painful or swollen joints. They may be made from rubber, leather, plastic, metal or even human hair. Most of them come with adhesive strips which stick to your skin and hold the splint together. Some have a small opening at one end so you can remove the splint when needed.
How do they work?
The main purpose of a bunion splint is to reduce pain and swelling caused by a bone spur. The spurs are usually located near the joint where they cause most of the pain. If not treated properly, these spurs can become infected causing severe inflammation and infection. A bunion splint will prevent this from happening by holding down the spurs until surgery is performed to remove them.
Are there any risks associated with using a bunion splint?
There are no known side effects associated with using a bunion splint. However, some people experience minor discomfort while wearing the splint. You should try to avoid exercising too much while wearing the splint since this could lead to bruising of your skin. Your doctor will advise you if you need to stop exercise or restrict it temporarily during treatment.
How do I choose the right bunion splint?
When choosing a bunion splint, it is important to note that there are several different types available. Your doctor will advise you which one is best for your particular condition. Different types include the following:
Self-Sticking bunion splints are held in position using an adhesive strip. They should stick well to your skin and remain in position for long periods without causing damage or pain. You can wear them during most types of physical activity. They are easy to apply and remove.
Cast bunion splints are held in place using a thin layer of plaster bandage. They should not come loose or fall off unless you take them out. You should be able to wear them for several days without causing damage or skin irritation.
Bag Bunon Splints are made from a thin bag-like material and are held in position using an adhesive strip. They should sit well against your skin and cause no damage or irritation. You can wear them during most types of activity but you should avoid rubbing the skin directly against the adhesive strips.
Bunion Correctors and Pads are made from soft foam and held in position using an adhesive strip. They should stick well to your skin and remain in position for long periods without causing damage or chaffing. You can wear them during most types of activity but you should avoid rubbing directly against the adhesive strips.
How can I take care of my bunion splint?
It is important to look after your splint and keep it clean and free from damage. This will help to prevent skin irritation or infection.You should:
Wash your hands before and after putting on or taking off the splint.
Wash your feet thoroughly before putting on or taking off the splint.
Remove the splint if it becomes wet (from water or sweat) and allow it to dry completely before re-applying.
Re-apply a new splint if the old one has become damaged or has loose adhesives.
Replace your splint if it begins to show signs of wear and tear.
Can splints be worn in hot temperatures?
Most types of bunion splint can be worn comfortably in hot and humid weather but you should take some precautions to prevent the bunion from expanding or shifting position. This can cause skin irritation or blistering and make walking more difficult. You should:
Apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) around the inner edges of the splint before putting it on.
Wear soft cotton socks and change into clean, dry socks every day.
Gently wash your feet every night and apply a thin layer of foot cream to the bunion to help keep the skin soft and moisturized.
Do not soak your feet in very hot water (such as in a bathtub) while wearing the splint.
Can I wear the splint to sleep?
Yes, you can wear the splint while you sleep. It is important to take some special precautions when sleeping with a bunion splint to avoid foot damage or skin irritation:
Choose a pair of soft cotton socks that fit well.
Ensure the splint fits snugly against your skin.
Put a soft cover over the splint (such as an old sock) to protect the skin from rubbing against the edges of the splint.
Wash your feet and remove the splint every day.
Can I wear the splint in the shower or bath?
Yes, you can wear the splint in the shower or bath but you should ensure it does not get wet. If it gets wet, remove it and allow it to dry completely before re-applying.
Can I wear the splint if I have a plaster or bandage on my foot?
It is not recommended that you wear a bunion splint if you have a plaster or bandage on your foot. The splint could cause damage or skin irritation if it presses directly against the plaster or bandage. Remove the splint before applying the plaster or bandage and wait until the covering has been removed to apply the splint again.
Can I wear the splint to run or play sports?
Most types of bunion splint can be worn while running or playing sports. You can wear the splint while participating in most types of activity. You may wish to take some special precautions, such as:
Wear soft cotton socks to avoid friction against the edge of the splint.
Wear the splint over a thin covering (such as an old sock) to protect your skin from rubbing directly against the edges of the splint.
Can I wear the splint to swim or get a pedicure?
Swimming and getting a pedicure (manicure) can be difficult or impossible while wearing a bunion splint. If you do not remove the splint, water and moisture will quickly become trapped between your skin and the edges of the splint. This will cause your skin to overheat, expand and swell. The swelling skin can make it difficult to re-apply the splint correctly, leading to skin irritation or blistering.
You should remove the splint before going swimming or getting a pedicure (manicure). You can clean, trim and file your toenails safely without the splint.
Are bunion splints waterproof?
No, most bunion splints are not waterproof or water resistant. It is important that you do not wear the splint in the shower or bath, while swimming or in wet conditions. Water and moisture will quickly become trapped between your skin and the edges of the splint. This can cause your skin to overheat, expand and swell. If you do not remove the splint, this swelling can make it difficult to re-apply the splint correctly. This can cause skin irritation or blistering.
Can I wear socks with my bunion splint?
Yes, you can wear socks with your splint. Socks are generally soft and should not cause any skin irritation. You may find that a thin cotton sock works best as it will be breathable and less likely to cause skin irritation by rubbing against the edge of the splint.
How long will it take for my bunion to heal?
Every bunion is different so it is very difficult to predict how long it will take for your bunion to heal. Some people notice an improvement after a few days, while others do not notice any improvement until a couple of weeks have passed. Many factors can influence the healing time, including your age, general health and activity levels. It is important to try to be patient and give your bunion time to heal. As a general rule, most bunions take at least 6 – 9 months to heal, although some people do experience longer healing times.
Will I need to wear the splint for a longer period of time after my bunion has healed?
Most people do not require any additional support or bracing after the bunion has fully healed. It is important to continue with the appropriate exercises as advised by your podiatrist or orthotic technician. Wearing an overly restrictive brace or arch support can alter your foot biomechanics and may lead to the development of other foot problems.
How can I clean my bunion splint or sports brace?
We recommend that you hand wash your bunion splint in lukewarm water with mild soap. Do not soak your splint for long periods or the glue may come loose. You can air dry the splint, but do not expose the splint to high heat sources such as direct sunlight or radiators. You can also wipe down the splint with a damp cloth.
How long will my splint last?
The life span of your splint depends on how well you look after it. Taking good care of your splint will ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
Can I wear more than one bunion splint at a time?
It is not usually recommended to wear more than one bunion splint at the same time. Wearing a splint on the other foot can compromise the support and cause the bunion to shift. Wearing a splint on the opposite foot can also cause strain and imbalance if you are required to walk or run long distances. If your podiatrist feels you would benefit from wearing a splint on the opposite foot, make sure you discuss this with him or her at your next appointment.
Can I play sports or participate in other physical activities while wearing a splint?
Yes, many people do participate in sports and other physical activities while wearing a bunion splint. If you are unsure about whether you should participate in a physical activity, we recommend that you seek advice from your podiatrist or orthotic technician first.
Can I drive while wearing a splint?
Yes, you can drive while wearing a bunion splint. The splint should not impair your range of motion needed to operate a vehicle.
Can I swim or shower while wearing a splint?
We recommend that you do not swim or get the splint or your feet wet as this may cause damage to the splint. You may shower with the splint on, but we advise that you do not apply soap directly to the bunion as this may cause skin irritation.
Can I wear socks or shoes over the bunion splint?
Yes, you can wear socks or shoes over the bunion splint. However, if the splint becomes wet or soiled, it must be removed and cleaned before wearing again.
When can I stop wearing my bunion splint?
Your bunion splint should be worn as much as possible during the day and night for a period of up to 9 – 12 months depending on your doctor’s recommendations. You should not remove the splint unless it needs to be cleaned. Keeping your foot in a fixed position is essential during this period of time.
How do I know when I can stop wearing the splint?
Your podiatrist or orthotic technician will re-evaluate your foot and its symptoms at regular intervals. Once the bunion has reduced in size, your podiatrist or orthotic technician will advise you when to wear the splint and for how long. In most cases, a bunion does not disappear completely, so you may need to continue to wear a protective shield on your shoe to support your foot.
What if I forget to put on my bunion splint one day?
If you forget to wear your splint one day, it is not cause for concern. Simply put it on as soon as you remember and keep to your regular schedule. Do not try to make up for missed wear time.
What if I am allergic to the materials used in the splint?
We recommend that you check the splint for any material reaction at least once a day. Any signs of redness, swelling or irritation require removal of the splint. If you suspect an allergic reaction seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Can I exercise while wearing a bunion splint?
Yes. Light exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga will not affect the bunion splint. However, more vigorous activities such as running and heavy exercise should be avoided while wearing a splint.
Can my children wear a bunion splint?
A bunion splint is not recommended for children due to their still-growing bones. A bunion is caused by the big toe pushing outward which causes the rest of the toe to grow in that direction. A child’s foot may still be growing and a splint may prevent proper growth.
How do I clean my bunion splint?
Wash your bunion splint with warm water and mild soap. Pat dry and allow it to air dry completely before wearing it. Never place the splint near direct heat or try to clean it in a clothes dryer.
What if I want to wear the splint during sports or swimming?
While the bunion splint is not water resistant and should not be worn in water, it can be worn while most active. The splint will protect your bunion while playing tennis or golf and allow you to be active without discomfort.
Sources & references used in this article:
10 Best Cushioned Running Shoes For Heel Spurs by HV Brooks, P Fasciitis – runnersdirection.com
Toe splint and bunion correction device by DE Cook – US Patent 4,729,369, 1988 – Google Patents
Bunion corrector by JC Day, WF Marshall – US Patent 2,190,016, 1940 – Google Patents
What is the best treatment for patients with symptomatic mild-to-moderate hallux valgus (bunions)? by MN Oliver – Journal of Family Practice, 2001 – go.gale.com
Bunion splint by MR Levitt – US Patent 3,219,032, 1965 – Google Patents
Bandage to reduce bunion pain therewith by BR Fabricant, E Elias – US Patent 4,632,103, 1986 – Google Patents
Custom-molded orthotics in postoperative hallux valgus immobilization by KC Donatto, N Rightor – Orthopedics, 1992 – healio.com
Traction bunion corrector by MR Levitt – US Patent 3,063,446, 1962 – Google Patents