New Procedure corrects Bunions at the "root of the problem"
Bunions are a common deformity I see in the office. Often times it is a patient having pain on a daily basis making walking, working or just wearing shoes a painful experience. Other times, it is a patient having pain elsewhere on the foot, that is resulting at least in part from their bunion. Bunions are fairly common, yet most people ignore them until they just can;t stand it any more. Some of the reasons I hear is that they cannot be off their feet for long periods of time or have heard the surgery is painful and that many times the bunions just come back. I want to address these concerns, and discuss how a new procedure called 3D Lapiplasty is changing the way I perform bunion surgery. First, I will discuss what is a bunion.
A bunion is a foot deformity involving the bones and joints near the great toe. It is a structural deformity where the bone ( 1st metatarsal) leading up to the big toe drifts towards the other foot and rotates inward. This often leads to the big toe drifting the opposite way causing a bump to form on the inside of the big toe joint. One component not appreciated enough is excess motion at a joint in the middle of the foot. We call this hypermobiltiy and it has a big impact on many bunions. Whys some people form bunions is the result of multiple factors including hypermobility, genetics, shoes, unstable foot types and tight calf muscles to name a few. These can appear in children and adults with women being more prone to them than men.
Many people are worried about having to be off their feet for a long time with bunion surgery. This is rare with my patients. The most common bunion procedure makes a cut in the end the metatarsal and shifts the end into alignment. With this procedure my patients, begin walking that day in a boot. In some patients, this procedure is enough, however it does not adequately correct the rotation or the hypermobility. This can increase the odds of the bunion returning. In most cases, I now prefer to correct the root of the problem by shifting the entire metatarsal and correcting the rotation and hypermobiltiy. This does require being off the foot for around 3 weeks, but this provides much greater correction and significantly reduces the chance of the bunion returning. So, although there is some time off your foot, it is significantly less than the 6-8 weeks most people are concerned about.
Bunion surgery is most often not painful. Every patient is unique in pain tolerance and their postoperative course, however most of my patients do not have severe pain after surgery. I minimize my surgical soft tissue handling to prevent less irritation. The compliance of the patient with icing, elevating and consistently taking the medications is key. No surgery is painless, but I have found this new bunion procedure to cause less postoperative pain.
Bunions can come back regardless of the procedure, however the odds of a bunion returning when the root of the problem has not been fully addressed is much greater. The new 3D Lapiplasty corrects the bunion in all planes and permanently stops the hypermobile, unstable joint. It also shifts the entire metatarsal back into alignment and not just the “curve” the bone back at the end. By correcting the cause of the bunion formation, we can have greater confidence it will not return.
Not every patient needs a 3D Lapiplasty, but for most it is a much better correction. I am very excited about the new 3D Lapiplasty bunion correction surgery that I have been performing with great results. The appearance of the foot is better, the actual angle correction on xrays is better and patients are happier with the results. For more information and to watch animations of the procedure and testimonials go to https://patients.treace.com/ .
Fixing bunions does not have to be scary or painful. Call and make an appointment, so we can discuss your bunions. Every patient is a unique person not just a bunion and as such requires customized treatment to their condition, goals and expectations.