Sunday, April 25, 2010
Hammertoes and Metatarsalgia: Possible Help with Budin Splint
If you develop pain in the front of your foot (toes or metatarsals), one of the most successful treatment modalities is a Budin Splint. It should be initially worn very loosely around the toe. It is worn walking, not sleeping, and can immobilize the toes enough to rest the injured area. Normally, combining a Budin Splint, sometimes called a Single Loop Hammertoe Regulator, with two to five times daily icing can make the symptoms diminish significantly. See the post on icing. The loop that goes over the toe can be used on the toe that seems to be the most painful, or connected with the metatarsal that seems to be the most painful, or on the toe next to it (although not the big toe), or over both toes by opening up the loop wider. These splints can be bought at many locations including Footsmart.com and mooremedical.com. After tightening the elastic band to comfort, cut off any extra material on the under surface of the splint that is not under the pad, and then use tape (any kind) to secure the band to the under surface. The splint should never be worn if it increases pain in any area.
They are commonly used in enclosed shoes, or in socks around the house, to prevent or slow down the development of hammertoes. The photo above also shows an additional metatarsal pad (purchased from www.Hapad.com) for extra metatarsal support. They are an excellent post hammertoe surgery splint worn for up to 2 years. If the splint slips around alittle since it initially may need to be on loose, place a small piece of tape on the elastic band attaching the band to the skin on top of the toe. Golden Rule of Foot: Place the Budin Splint as far back onto the toe, away from the toenail, as possible. The splint itself should never feel like it pulls the front of the toe downward which could cause a hammertoe. The underlying pad is one size fits all so feel free to trim the size down if it cuts into you or interferes with your orthotic device. You should be able to make it work. If you start out real loose for comfort, once a week slightly tighten the band an extra 1 mm (slightly). If you are wearing it for pain, wear it 2 months longer after pain subsides.
Another type of splint has 2 loops, a double loop hammertoe regulator.Budin Toe Splint - Double Toe - Model 65065 I do not like how it pushes the two and third toes apart, so I tell patients to place on the 2nd and 4th toes. The double loop can be tried if only partial success is achieved with the varietions above of the single loop. I sure hope you like these products.