The Benefits of Lapiplasty for Bunion Correction
“Bunion surgery” is not just one procedure that is performed on every patient in need of surgical bunion treatment. A procedure performed on one patient may not look like one performed on another.
That’s because there are many different bunion procedures, each with their own approach toward addressing a bunion. The surgical options available for a patient are often dependent upon the type and severity of the bunion, as well as other needs unique to the patient.
At Texas Foot & Ankle Center, our goals with bunion surgery are to provide optimal results for our patients while being as minimally invasive with a procedure as possible.
Thankfully, as time and research continue, more and better bunion surgery methods become available. One of them, Lapiplasty, is an option we are proud to provide to patients who can benefit from it.
Lapiplasty has several big advantages over older bunion procedures. To understand what they are, though, we should first tell you what the procedure entails.
What is Lapiplasty?
In a Lapiplasty procedure, the metatarsal bone is fully realigned and the unstable joint at the base of the toe is fixed into place.
First, a unique tool is used to reposition and hold the metatarsal in its natural alignment. The metatarsal is not only shifted side-to-side and up-and-down but also rotated back into position. While the bone is held in this position, a guide tool is used to make tiny cuts in preparation for the rest of the procedure.
A second specialized tool will compress the joint, holding it together while low-profile but highly durable titanium plates are inserted. This will fix the joint in place but making it immobile will not have any noticeable effect on your motion or abilities. The joint was never supposed to be mobile in the first place.
Only small incisions are required for Lapiplasty. We use a fluoroscope to see a live x-ray style image within the foot and ensure that each step of the procedure is properly finished.
What Makes Lapiplasty Better?
Just seeing a rundown of the Lapiplasty procedure might not make any notable advantages stick out on their own. Compare them to many other traditional procedures, however, and the benefits become much clearer.
Lapiplasty Fully Addresses Misalignment
The fact that Lapiplasty corrects the metatarsal’s position in all directions and rotationally is a more comprehensive fix than many other procedures provide.
Many bunion procedures will only approach a bunion from a planar or “2-D” perspective. They will shift the position of the bone in certain directions, but not rotate it so it can be placed back into full natural alignment.
Many procedures will even cut or shave the bones to make them more closely fit the shape of where they should be without completely getting them there. It’s more of a workaround than a solution, and that can make a difference in a big way.
Bunions Are Less Likely To Return
When you remove the bump of a bunion and return the toe to a more normal position, that does not necessarily mean that the bunion is gone.
The source of the bunion was never the bump. The bump is more of a symptom. The bunion was caused by an instability at the joint at the base of the big toe; and if that instability isn’t addressed, a bunion can start forming all over again.
By providing a more comprehensive correction and fixing the joint in place, Lapiplasty greatly reduces the chance of a bunion returning compared to more traditional procedures. In fact, procedures that are not as complete as Lapiplasty are up to 12 times more likely to result in a bunion coming back in the future.
Post-Surgical Recovery Tends To Be Faster
Given the minimally invasive nature of a Lapiplasty procedure, recovery tends to happen faster and more comfortably than more traditional procedure methods.
With Lapiplasty, there is typically less time to wait until you can begin bearing weight on the foot again (with the support of a walking boot). Weight-bearing can be cleared within just a few days, although some patients may need to wait up to 2 weeks depending on their condition. For many standard surgeries, however, you can expect to be off your foot for up to 6 weeks.
After about 6-8 weeks, you can expect to go back to wearing standard sneakers, compared to 12-16 weeks for more standard surgeries.
In general, you can expect to save about 6 weeks or more of recovery time with a Lapiplasty procedure. However, that does not mean you should try to do any activities before you have been cleared to do them. Lapiplasty may have a faster recovery, but you can still mess up your recovery by not following post-operative instructions well.
The Best in Bunion Treatment – Both Conservative and Surgical
Lapiplasty is a highly recommendable procedure, but it may not be the optimal route for bunion treatment for all patients. Some may have needs that would be best met by another procedure, while others may not benefit most from surgery at all, but rather more conservative methods of bunion management.
Whatever may be the best treatment for your needs, we will help you find it. Regardless of how long you have had a bunion or how severe it may be, we can help you find any relief you need now and help pave the way for a more comfortable future.
Schedule an appointment by calling our Dallas office or filling out our online contact form. We’ll be happy to see you!
Doctor's Professional Building 1
1151 N. Buckner Boulevard, Suite 201
Dallas, TX 75218
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