Bunions are a common complaint for our podiatry patients. Bunion deformities may just be unsightly in the early stages, but they become more and more painful as the condition progresses. Eventually, an untreated bunion can cause long-lasting problems such as nerve injury, arthritis, and lost range of motion.
If conservative treatments for bunions aren’t enough, you may need surgery to realign your big toe. Our podiatrists are proud to offer a revolutionary treatment option that does more than just remove the deformity, it stabilizes the big toe joint on every axis to reduce the risk of recurrence—and best of all, it allows patients to walk within days of surgery.
What Is Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction?
Traditional bunion surgery involves shaving down the protruding bone to remove the bump, then straightening the big toe back into place. While this corrects the existing bunion, it doesn’t prevent bunions from coming back—and it can take several weeks to recover from the procedure.
Lapiplasty® addresses the root cause of the bunion: the unstable joint in the middle of the foot. The minimally-invasive procedure realigns the bones of the big toe from the midfoot upward, then braces them into place using titanium plates. Lapiplasty® requires no bone cutting and inserting implants through small incisions, greatly reducing healing times.
Unlike 2D bunion surgeries, Lapiplasty® corrects the position of the toe in all three dimensions, including:
- Inward. The most noticeable misalignment is the signature “bump” of the bunion caused by the inward shifting of the toe. Straightening the big toe is the first step in returning functionality to the foot. Once the bone is restored to its natural position, it’s held in place with a positioning instrument while the rest of the toe is realigned.
- Outward. A bunion can force the big toe to rotate outward and place abnormal pressure on the bottom of the foot. Hyperextension of the toe joint is not only painful, it can cause hammertoes, arthritis, and loss of balance. The surgeon makes small incisions at the base of the bone to prevent rotational misalignment.
- Upward. Larger bunions often cause the big toe to rise off the floor, forcing the smaller toes and ball of the foot to bear all of your body weight. Two small titanium plates will be inserted to prevent bones from shifting after the toe has been placed into proper alignment in every direction. These plates are carefully positioned to allow the natural movement of the foot and toes while preventing future bunions from forming.
What Should I Expect During Recovery?
One of the most significant benefits for Lapiplasty® patients is the ability to return to work and regular physical activity in a matter of weeks. Most patients won’t require a cast and can bear weight on the affected foot within 7-10 days of surgery.
Four weeks after surgery, the majority of patients can walk and stand with the aid of a walking boot. By six weeks, patients wearing a walking boot may return to work or resume their daily activities. After two months, patients are often back to wearing regular shoes. Six months after surgery, patients can often resume normal exercise and perform more demanding physical activities.
Should I Make an Appointment for Lapiplasty®?
Although Lapiplasty® is usually our first choice for patients who require bunion surgery, it may not be the best treatment for you. Your condition may be eased using nonsurgical techniques or through a different surgical procedure. Our lead podiatrist will carefully evaluate your feet and medical history before recommending the best way forward.