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Can a Spring Plate be used to treat a bunion?

Can a spring plate be used to treat a bunion? In some cases, yes. This article explores the use of carbon fiber spring plates in the treatment of dorsal bunions.

Can a spring plate treat a bunion?

Can a Spring Plate be used to treat a bunion?  That depends….the classic description of a bunion describes a bump of bone at the medial aspect of the great toe joint that is the result of a poorly-aligned metatarsal bone and great toe. The great toe is pushing against the second toe and this poor alignment results in a prominence of bone at the medial side of the great toe joint. This medialSpring plate bump can be painful and difficult to fit into shoes.

But there's another kind of bunion.  Hallux limitus is sometimes described as a dorsal bunion.  Dorsal refers to the top of the great toe joint.  In a dorsal bunion (hallux limitus), the great toe will be straight.  The big difference between a ‘bunion’ and a ‘dorsal bunion’ is the alignment of the toe.  With a dorsal bunion, the great toe joint doesn’t move – it’s straight, stiff and it hurts to bend it.

So if the great toe is pushing into the second toe, you have a medial bump and the joint moves freely, a Spring Plate isn't going to help.  You need to visit our bunion products.  But on the other hand, if you have a dorsal bump, the toe doesn’t move and your primary problem is that the joint hurts, you likely have hallux limitus (dorsal bunion) and a Spring Plate would be indicated for you.


Dr. Jeffrey Oster

Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM
Medical Advisor

Updated 12/27/19

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