Do bunion splints work to remove or heal bunions?

Bunion splints are advertised as having the ability to treat bunion pain without surgery, but do they really work? The short answer is “no.” In my experience as a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), I have never seen a bunion splint heal or get rid of a bunion.

I’m sure you have seen the advertisements for bunion splints and other over-the-counter, non-surgical tools and products intended to treat bunions on Facebook, QVC, Amazon, and other platforms or at other retail outlets. There are toe spacers, silicone sleeves, and even adjustable braces that can be used to help splint your bunion into a better correction – but do any of them really work? While some of these products can be used to temporarily manage the pain and discomfort that is associated with common orthopedic conditions such as bunions, they do not serve as a long-term treatment option. Today, we will explore how corrective tools like bunion splints work and explain why they are not adequate treatment methods for the long-term treatment of bunions.

Temporary Effects of Bunion Splints

Corrective tools like bunion splints can temporarily benefit patients suffering from conditions like bunions.

Bunion splints can:

Space your toes out while in use

Possibly provide slight relief while in use


However, bunion splints can not:

Remove bunions from the foot

Treat the root cause of bunions 

Provide temporary relief from pain


Do Bunion Splints Work?

Throughout my experience as a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, I have not seen any long-term research articles proving that these corrective devices work. Can they help or provide short-term benefits? Sure! When wearing the bunion splint, your toe looks good, but why doesn’t it stay that way? Imagine those “yoga toes” or even those little heart-toe spacers they put between your toes after getting them painted by a pedicurist. They space your toes out; they can even make them feel good for a little while, but do your toes stay that way after you remove them – no. Specific devices can help stretch tendons and ligaments out, can even help break apart scar tissue, and help with a range of motion post-operatively, but I have never seen long-term correction from these devices.

When Are Bunion Splints Useful?

While I do not believe that bunion splints and other corrective devices or tools can work as long-term treatments for bunions and the associated pain, they can be beneficial in managing pain and aiding in the healing process following a surgical procedure.

Possible post-operative benefits of bunion splints include:

Maintain correction while tendons, ligaments, and bone are healing

Help stretch tendons and ligaments

Help break apart scar tissue

Help with range of motion

These benefits are undeniable for patients who have undergone an orthopedic surgery, however, bunion splints do not work to treat pain on their own.


Conclusion – Do Bunion Splints Work?

In my experience, bunion splints can help post-operatively to maintain correction while the tendons, ligaments, and bone are healing and emphasize correction – however, I have not seen a bunion splint heal or get rid of a bunion. In our practice, I frequently recommend a toe spacer during the healing period, up to three months after surgery, but I have not had any success using a bunion splint to remove a bunion without surgery.

Alternatives to Bunion Splints

If you are suffering from the pain or discomfort associated with bunions, the only way to experience long-term relief is by undergoing surgery to remove the bunion. 

Unfortunately for patients currently seeking treatment for bunion pain, traditional bunion surgery has long been considered by medical professionals and patients alike as one of the most painful medical procedures one can undergo. In addition to the surgical procedure itself being painful, traditional bunion surgery also requires a postoperative recovery time of 6-8 weeks, in which patients are limited in the type of physical activity (such as walking, standing, driving, etc.) they can do. While in the postoperative recovery phase, patients are typically required to wear a cast or boot for a few weeks, as well as care for stitches that are unable to get wet. Additionally, patients who undergo traditional bunion surgery are often at a higher risk of complications such as scarring, infection, limited mobility, post-operative pain, and more.  Luckily, developments in the medical field throughout the last decade have produced a safe and effective alternative to these traditional procedures: minimally invasive bunion removal surgery. 

Bunion Removal at Northwest Surgery Center

Northwest Surgery Center is a pioneer in the field of minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries. 

When you undergo minimally invasive bunion surgery at NWSC, you will be treated in a modern surgery suite where our team uses state of the art, innovative surgical equipment. Under local anesthesia, a small incision is made in the foot and a specially designed surgical instrument is inserted into this incision. The entire procedure is performed through this tiny opening. At the surgery’s conclusion, a small bandage is used to protect the microsurgery area. The entire procedure – including pre-op preparation and post-op recovery – takes less than 90 minutes. Patients can drive themselves home from surgery, and will have to wear a special, Post-operative shoe for about 3-4 weeks. Minimally invasive bunion surgery vs traditional procedures are a great option for those who want to ease pain quickly and return to work, school, or other activities without having to worry about a long and strenuous recovery period after undergoing a procedure. 

If you have put off seeking treatment for bunion pain due to fear of undergoing a significant, potentially painful, or risky surgical procedure, you aren’t alone; luckily, the development of minimally invasive bunion surgery has made treating bunions at the source and relieving pain once and for all easier than ever. While you might be tempted to try to treat bunion pain using bunion splints or other corrective devices, the only way to effectively treat pain and find relief for good is to undergo surgery. If you are tired of living in pain and allowing bunions to hinder your ability to perform everyday activities like walking, standing, or exercising, it’s time to contact the team at Northwest Surgery Center to discuss your treatment options today.

Free Consultation. Same Day Surgery.

Book Your Appointment now or call 800-873-1060 to talk with a Northwest Surgery Center team member.

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Bunion Remedies


Do bunion correctors work?

Bunion correctors do not correct bunions. They might temporarily reduce bunion pain and make the big toe look straighter but bunion splints do not address the imbalance within the foot that causes bunions. Bunion correctors are not a long-term remedy for bunions.

How do you get rid of bunions at home?

There is no home remedy that will permanently get rid of bunions. All home bunion treatments are meant only to temporarily reduce bunion pain and/or slow the natural progression of bunions. Bunion surgery is the only way to permanently get rid of bunions.

How can I shrink my bunions naturally?

There is no natural remedy for bunions. All natural bunion treatments are meant only to slow the natural progression of bunions and temporarily reduce bunion pain. Bunion surgery is the only way to get rid of bunions.