February 2016

Surgical shoe findings support limits on driving after bunion procedures

In the moment: O&P

By Larry Hand

Patients should refrain from driving for at least six weeks after bunion surgery due to poor braking response times that are not improved with the use of surgical shoes, according to findings from the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria.

The researchers assessed braking response time in 42 patients using a driving simulator immediately before and at two and six weeks after first meta­tarsal osteotomy for hallux valgus deformity on the right foot. Testing at two and six weeks included two orthotic conditions—a hallux valgus shoe and a typical forefoot relief shoe.

The mean braking response time for each of the orthotic conditions was significantly longer at two and six weeks postoperatively than at preoperative testing (in the patients’ own footwear). The percentage of patients with a braking response time below the threshold level of 700 milliseconds (based on local road authority recommendations) was also higher preoperatively than at two and six weeks for all orthotic conditions.

The findings were published in January by the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research.


Dammerer D, Braito M, Biedermann R, et al. Effect of surgical shoes on brake response time after first metatarsal osteotomy–a prospective cohort study. J Orthop Surg Res 2016;11(1):14.

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