Understanding Bunion Treatment Options
Bunions are characterized by a bony bump that forms on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe, leading to the misalignment of the big toe.
Symptoms of Bunions
- Discomfort wearing shoes
- Problems with balance
While conservative approaches such as wearing wider shoes, using orthotics, and performing foot exercises can help alleviate symptoms, they often do not address the root cause of the problem. A bunion will not go away on its own, even with conservative treatment.
How Lapiplasty Can Help
Lapiplasty is a revolutionary surgical technique designed to not only address the symptoms but also correct the underlying cause of bunions. Unlike traditional types of bunion surgeries that primarily focus on removing the bony bump, Lapiplasty involves a more comprehensive approach. This procedure corrects the three-dimensional misalignment of the metatarsal bone, the long bone connected to the toes, and the phalanx bone, the bone of the big toe. By realigning these bones, Lapiplasty restores the natural anatomy of the foot and prevents the reoccurrence of the bunion.
Advantages of Lapiplasty Over Traditional Bunion Treatment
- Less downtime. Lapiplasty allows for a quicker return to weight-bearing activities compared to other techniques that may require longer periods of foot immobilization. This faster recovery can significantly enhance your overall experience and satisfaction, making it possible to return to normal activities in about two weeks compared to nine weeks with traditional surgery.
- Minimally invasive. The procedure is minimally invasive, resulting in smaller incisions and potentially less post-operative pain and scarring. You can often resume your normal activities sooner, which is a substantial improvement over the prolonged recovery times associated with other types of surgical methods.
- Safe and effective. Lapiplasty has demonstrated its safety and effectiveness through various clinical studies and real-world experiences. Research has shown that this technique not only provides better correction of the deformity but also reduces the risk of reoccurrence compared to traditional surgeries.
- Less pain. Those who undergo Lapiplasty tend to experience less pain, have fewer complications, and be more satisfied with the results than with other types of bunion surgeries. Pain from traditional bunion surgery can last for weeks following surgery.
While this surgery has many advantages, it’s important to know that the procedure may take longer because the three-dimensional correction is a more complex operation. Also, this procedure requires a doctor who has special training and experience in this type of surgery.
Understanding the Procedure
Lapiplasty involves several steps to correct the bunion deformity. Before the procedure, your doctor will examine your foot, order imaging studies, assess the extent of the deformity, and plan the correction.
The procedure itself involves making small incisions around the affected area to access the bones. The metatarsal bone is repositioned and secured using specialized instrumentation. This corrects the bone misalignment. Tiny screws or plates are inserted to stabilize the bones in their corrected position, allowing for proper healing.
Once the procedure is completed, the incisions are closed using sutures, and the foot is typically immobilized using a boot during the initial healing phase. You will need to follow a rehabilitation protocol, which may include physical therapy, to gradually regain strength and mobility in the treated foot.
Potential Risks and Complications
Like any surgical procedure, Lapiplasty is not without risks. It is crucial to have a thorough discussion with your podiatrist to weigh the benefits against the potential risks and make an informed decision. Potential complications may include:
- Nerve damage
- Delayed bone healing