Background: Hallux valgus orthoses are available in a wide range of designs and materials, but the effects of their design on functional performance have not been fully investigated. Research question: This present study aims to comprehensively analyze the immediate effects of soft and semi-rigid hallux valgus orthoses on balance, plantar pressure, hallux valgus angle, and subjective sensations. Methods: Sixteen female subjects have participated in the study, including 10 subjects with healthy feet and 6 with hallux valgus. Three conditions are tested, including in the barefoot and using two types of commercially available hallux valgus orthoses. The subjects participate in static and dynamic (walking) tests with the use of the Novel Pedar® system. The peak pressure values in the hallux, lateral toes, first metatarsophalangeal joint, 2-4th metatarsal heads, 5th metatarsal head, medial midfoot, lateral midfoot and rearfoot in the various foot conditions are examined and compared. The hallux valgus angle of each subject is measured based on their footprint. Their subjective feelings towards the orthoses are also evaluated. A repeated-measures analysis of variance, and independent-sample t-test are performed. Results: The correction of the hallux valgus angle is statistically significant when the subjects with hallux valgus use the orthoses. In comparing the two types of orthoses, the use of the orthosis made of soft materials results in correction in the hallux valgus angle and higher wear comfort, and lower plantar pressure in hallux area. Significance: The results provide insights into the design of hallux valgus orthoses, thus offering practical reference for the selection of hallux valgus orthosis with compromise between functional performance and wear comfort.
- Angle correction
- Foot diseases
- Plantar pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine