IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 12531: The Evaluation of Orthotics in Reducing Hallux Valgus Angle in Patients with Hallux Valgus over a Twelve-Month Treatment (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background: Hallux valgus (HV) is one of the most common forefoot deformities among females, and its prevalence increases with age. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of three different types of orthotics on the reduction in hallux valgus angle (HVA) for patients with mild and moderate hallux valgus deformities. Methods: Twenty-six patients (42 feet) with mild or moderate HV participated in the treatment with three types of orthotics in the current study. Patients were divided into three groups depending on their HV severities and the consideration of different function of the orthotics. Orthotic Type 1 is a biomechanical style orthotic applied to moderated HV in Group 1. Orthotic Type 2 is a wrap style orthotic used on mild and moderate HV with two sub-groups: mild HV in Group 2A and moderate HV in Group 2B. Orthotic Type 3 is a gel style orthotic for mild HV. Patients were required to wear the orthotics for between 6 and 8 h per night over a period of 12 months. The HVA was measured every 3 weeks using a newly designed Measuring Block. A paired t-test was used to compare the differences between initial and final HVA at different stages of HVA treatment with orthotics. Results: After the 12-month treatment, for moderate HV patients treated with the Orthotic Type 1, their HVA reduced by 5.05° (95% CI 1.37, 8.73), (p < 0.05). For moderate HV patients treated with the Orthotic Type 2, their HVA reduced by 1.2° (95% CI −0.71, 3.11) (p > 0.05). For mild HV patients treated with the Orthotic Type 2, their HVA reduced by 2.44° (95% CI 1.39, 3.49) (p < 0.05). For mild HV patients treated with the Orthotic Type 3, their HVA reduced by 3.08° (95% CI −0.68, 6.83) (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Orthotic Type 1 showed a consistent significance in reduction in the HVA during the 12-month treatment, so it could be recommended for treating moderate HV. Orthotic Type 2 reduced the HVA, but it did not show a consistent significance in reduction in the HVA for mild and moderate HV. Orthotic Type 3 reduced the HVA, but it showed a volatile trend during 12 months without significant differences.