April 2011

Alpha Orthotics offers screening tool for bunion self-assessment

Alpha Orthotics announced in March the availability of a simple clinical screening tool, the Manchester scale, for patients to self-assess the severity of their hallux valgus.

The Manchester scale includes standardized photographs of feet with four grades of hallux valgus (none, mild, moderate, and severe). The enlarged, life-sized foot images (right and left feet) are available to download and print directly from the Alpha Orthotics web site by clicking on “Bunion Self Treatment Guide.” The self-assessment process will help individuals know whether they may be candidates for conservative treatment, such as the Bunion-Aid bunion splint offered by Alpha Orthotics.

In a study published in September by the online journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, researchers from La Trobe University in Bundoora, Australia, found a strong association between self-assessment scores obtained by patients and those obtained by practitioners using the Manchester scale.

“The key advantages of the Manchester scale are that the photographs represent real cases of hallux valgus selected by a consensus panel of podiatrists to represent the full spectrum of the deformity,” said Hylton B. Menz, PhD, director of the Musculoskeletal Research Centre at the university and lead author of the study.

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