Austin Bunion Experts: Bunions – The Surgical Options Part 3 – The Lapidus

If you are affected by bunions or are interesting in how your Austin podiatrist goes about correcting them, you have hopefully read Part 1: The Cheilectomy and Part 2: The Austin.  Feel free to click on these two hyperlinks to get caught up these options before learning about this one.   The three options we are presenting is not the entirety of surgical options available to correct your bunion.   Instead we are attempting to give you a general idea of what part of your foot deformity the correction focuses on.  Your doctor will discuss the option best suited to your bunion and the differences in post operative care.


The previous two blogs focused on the ‘head’ of metatarsal bone or the hypertrophy that can occur there.  This last procedure, the lapidus, is part of the group used to address more extensive deformities.  The first metatarsal (behind your big toe) makes an angle with the second metatarsal (behind your second toe).  When this angle becomes too great, the procedures that focus on the head of the bone cannot fully correct the deformity. A thorough biomechanical exam, which may reveal excessive joint mobility, along with the latest in digital x-ray technology allows our doctors to choose the best procedure for you.


The Lapidus:  This procedure is unique amongst the procedures that focus on the base of the first metatarsal rather than the head. The incision for this procedure is closer to the middle of your foot instead of near the ball.  It is typically a little larger, but utilizing plastic surgery suturing, the surgical site heals without leaving a noticeable scar.  The procedure itself involves fusing, or joining, two bones together to limit deforming forces.  By removing the cartilage that allows the bones to glide along one another, the bones are allowed to heal together.  Small surgical screws or plates are utilized to hold the construct together while it heals. After a sufficient period of time off your feet to allow healing, you can get back into your regular shoes and your bunion will be a thing of the past.


Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy Austin!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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