Flexible, Hinged Splint Corrects Bunions Without Surgery

Released: 12/8/2008 9:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Alpha Orthotics
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Newswise — Over 60 million American women and 15 million men suffer from the painful dysfunction of the foot Hallux valgus, also called "bunions" . Up to now, conservative treatment without surgery of this mal-positioning of the big toe by has been limited to inflexible night and daytime splints. Bunion Aid, a dynamic, flexible, day or night-time hinged splint launched into the United States from Germany in October 2008, offers effective treatment and pain relief for millions who suffer from this foot dysfunction and may help avoid or postpone or the need for surgery. A recent comparative study measured the reduction of bunions through the use of a rigid night-split, versus Bunion Aid. Results show that mild to moderate mal-positioning can be corrected to normal values with the use of Bunion Aid.

Alpha Orthotics Corporation (www.alphaorthotics.com) announced today the results of a comparative radiological study designed to measure the reduction of toe mal-positioning conducted in Germany in Spring 2008. The radiological study, performed by Dr. Klaus A. Milachowski, Assistant Professor, Ludwig-Maximilian University, in Munich Germany, compared the use of a rigid Hallux valgus night-split and Bunion Aid. The results of the study show that mild to moderate mal- positioning of the big toe can be corrected to normal values with the use of Bunion Aid.

Bunion Aid is a combination of a medical-grade plastic splint and Velcro® fastening metatarsal and toe straps. The plastic portion of the splint is hinged and fastened along the inside border of the foot with a toe and metatarsal strap. The straps and the splint provide three-point correction of the bunion deformity though out the gait cycle. The metatarsal arch is optimally stabilized, the bunion relieved, the mal-positioning of the toe corrected and the foot brought back and held in its natural position.

Study Methodology and Results
The study examined 20 cases of light to moderate Hallux valgus and compared the effectiveness of a traditional night-splint and the Bunion Aid flexible hinged splint. The subjects wore both the night splint and the Bunion Aid splint and mal-positioning 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 28.8º. The night splint reduced the angle to an average 18.4°. Bunion Aid reduced the angle to 11.6º.

The study also showed a correction of the inter-metatarsal angle in the case of splayfoot. Used as a metatarsal bandage, Bunion Aid reduced the inter-metatarsal angle a statistically significant amount from an average 16° down to 10.2°. The night splint corrected the inter-metatarsal angle to an average 13°.

"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, Clinical Director of Alpha Orthotics Corporation. " The splint can be used as a conservative pain reduction treatment option that may help avoid or postpone the need for invasive surgery."

The Bunion Aid splint is available online through the Alpha Orthotics website (www.alphaorthotics.com) and through select retailers and podiatrists nationwide at a suggested retail price of $59.95. The results of the study cited in this press release are available upon request.

About Hallux Valgus or "Bunions"
Hallux valgus forces the big toe outward, which causes the metatarsal bone and the metatarsal capitulum to protrude. Initially a cosmetic problem, in due time serious pain can develop. Inflammation and swelling of the ball, incorrect loading and initial joint attrition (arthrosis) can lead to strong and persistent pain. The reasons for the development of Hallux valgus are an inherited predisposition, a tendency towards weak supporting and connective tissue or muscular imbalance. Mal-positioning is aggravated by too tight, too pointed and too small shoes. Hallux valgus patients traditionally have been treated with surgery or rigid night splints. Bunion-Aid is an alternative for people with mild to moderate bunions and can help with post-surgery treatment.

About Alpha Orthotics Corporation USA
Alpha Orthotics Corporation (http://www.alphaorthotics.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of German Hallufix Corporation. Alpha Orthotics Corporation markets and sells patented, German-engineered non-invasive orthopedic products directly to consumers and to the medical community.


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