Are you dealing with painful bunions? The future of bunion correction has arrived. Fix it right the first time with Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction. Click here to request an appointment with one of our foot and ankle surgeons.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is an enlargement seen at the great toe joint, usually associated with a toe that angles toward the 2nd toe.
This is caused by genetic instability of a small joint that is designed to move very little, but is overactive in some patients. This instability occurs in the middle of the foot at a joint called the first tarsometatarsal joint, or TMT, not at the level of the great toe joint. Inherent instability is the cause of the bunion deformity, and not a growth of bone. Simply removing the bump does not cure the condition and places the patient at a high risk for recurrence of the bunion deformity in the future. This can lead to the need for repeat surgery.
Where are the painful symptoms of a bunion deformity?
- Pain along the bump - Pain is from irritation to the nerve, caused by shoe pressure or irritation to a fluid filled sac, called a bursa that may be present.
- Pain under the great toe joint - Two small bones reside under the great toe joint inside the tendon that flexes your big toe. When a bunion develops, these bones go out of alignment and pain develops.
- Pain between the great toe and the second toe - The great toe moving over can cause the first and second toes to rub, especially in shoes.
- Pain under the second toe joint - The great toe joint is designed to bear the majority of your weight in the foot when you walk, however when a bunion develops, the unstable great toe joint moves up, leading to increased pressure to the more stable second toe joint. If the bunion is left untreated, the second toe joint can become painful and the joint tissue can tear over time, leading to a very painful plantar plate tear.
- Pain at the top of the great toe joint - Alignment issues with a bunion can lead to jamming of the joint and arthritis spur at this level. This can hurt with shoe pressure or bending the joint during walking, sport, ore when wearing heels.
Do I need bunion surgery?
If you have gotten to the point where you are having difficulty finding shoes that do not hurt, or if you cannot perform the activities you love to do because your bunion hurts, it is time to, at the very least, get an x-ray and discuss your treatment options with a podiatrist.
With the help of a podiatrist, conservative and surgical treatment options can treat the pain, but no conservative treatment is available to reduce the actual deformity.
Conservative treatments for pain:
- Wider shoes to reduce rubbing the toe
- Anti-inflammatory medication for pain
- Padding to cushion the bunion
- Steroid injections for temporary relief of severe pain
- Custom orthotics to prevent or slow the worsening of a bunion's size
Conservative treatment never reduces the size of a bunion, they only act as a Band-Aid. The good news is that a cure for the bunion deformity is here.
Traditional Bunion Surgery vs. Lapiplasty ® 3D Bunion Correction
For mild to moderately sized bunions with the traditional bunion surgery, the surgeon employs a technique where the bone is cut and slid toward the middle of the foot. It is then fixated with two screws. This solution addresses the appearance of the bunion, but does not address the root cause of the deformity, and it can result in a curved bone. In other words, even after the bunion deformity is fixed, a deformity still exists in the bone.
Other moderate to large bunions have a procedure called the Lapidus, the procedure for which the Lapiplasty technique is modeled. The difference lies in the ability of the Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction to reduce the risk of recurrence of the bunion substantially. It reduces the bunion in all three places of the deformity, as a bunion is not a two-dimensional problem, and it vastly reduces the risk of complications. Most importantly, the traditional Lapidus procedure requires 4-8 weeks of below-the-knee casting with non-weightbearing. With the Lapiplasty procedure, patients are able to walk in just a few days after surgery.
Why was Lapiplasty® developed?
Lapiplasty was developed because the bunion deformity is a problem that occurs in three-dimensions, meaning that the deformity causes a widening of the foot, elevation of the great toe joint, and rotation of the bone. Traditional bunion surgery only corrects the problem in two-dimensions, therefore increasing the risk of recurrence of the deformity.
Lapiplasty ® 3D Correction utilizes a patented reduction and joint preparation process that substantially reduces the risk that the bunion deformity returns, and more importantly, is designed to correct the bunion at the source, significantly reducing the risk of bunion recurrence. The patented joint preparation system also makes the procedure predictable and reproducible, taking out the "fiddle factor" for surgeons.
The most exciting thing about Lapiplasty is that it allows patients to bear weight on their surgical foot within just days after surgery.
Why does Lapiplasty ® result in better surgical outcomes for patients?
- Lapiplasty technique employs a specialized reduction system that holds the bunion in its corrected position in all three planes of the deformity.
- The Lapiplasty bone cutting guide also allows the surgeon to remove the bone at the unstable joint, without shortening the bone, which is a common complication of the traditional joint fusion surgery at this site for bunions.
- Two low-profile, patented, titanium plates are applied around the joint after the cartilage is removed. Because two plates are used, the joint is much more stable. This is much like the concept that holding a basketball with two hands is more stable than one.
What does my recovery look like after Lapiplasty ® surgery?
Utilizing the two titanium fixation plates allows for early weight-bearing, just a few days after surgery. A below-the-knee walking boot will be utilized for 6 weeks after surgery. Each week, patients will slowly increase the amount of pressure they apply to their foot. With traditional fusion of this joint without patented Lapiplasty technology, patients would be unable to walk or bear weight for 6 weeks after surgery.
The future of bunion surgery is here! Fix it right the first time!
Click here or call Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas to schedule an appointment today at 817-416-6155!