The bunion corrector is a device that is widely promoted online as something that can correct bunions. The question often gets asked if it can. A bunion, or more correctly a hallux valgus is the deviation of the great toe laterally with an enlargement of the first metatarsophalangeal joint. They are generally considered to be due to abnormal pressures from improperly fitted footwear in those with a genetic predisposition. Bunion surgery is generally considered as the only way to actually get rid of bunions.
The aim of these bunion correctors is to hold the hallux in a correct position and therefore fix the bunion. However, you will not find any ‘expert’ on bunions who actually believe that these bunion correctors do actually work. The reason that they do not work is that the force that is applied to the hallux to cause a bunion during the days is so great, that simply wearing one of the devices overnight is not going to come close to overcoming that force. The evidence for or against these bunion correctors is limited. Just one study has looked at them and it did show that they can correct the angle of the hallux an average of one degree after 3 months of use, which is not clinically meaningful. It is not known if that small correction is maintained after the 3 months of use if discontinued.
Having said that, they do have there uses clinically and many clinicians do use bunion correctors to help as a physical therapy intervention to increase mobility in the joint and find it particularly useful in those who have pain deep inside the joint. They have no expectations that the ankle of the hallux valgus will be changed, but holding the position of the joint differently for a period of time does appear to help that pain in the joint.