According to the Cleveland Clinic, 1 out of 3 Americans suffer from bunions, and it's very common among women, especially older adults. Bunions are a deformity in which the big toe joint is angled outward and pushes against the other toes. This causes pain, swelling, and redness around the joint. While conservative treatments such as padding or shoe modifications can help relieve symptoms, some people may need surgery to correct the problem. Lapiplasty is a newer surgical procedure that can be used to treat bunions. However, as with other surgical procedures, you must consider the pros and cons of Lapiplasty bunion surgery.
Bunions are a progressive foot disorder that gradually becomes more painful and noticeable over time. The main symptom of bunions is the development of a bony bump on the edge of the big toe joint. This bump, also known as an “exostosis,” is caused by an abnormal growth in the bone or tissue around the joint.
As the bunion progresses, it can push the big toe outward in a "Hallux Valgus deformity” People with bunions may experience pain when wearing certain shoes and other activities such as walking or running. In addition to physical discomfort, bunions can also lead to psychological distress due to their unsightliness. If left untreated, bunions can worsen over time, leading to more serious complications such as arthritis, hammertoes, bursitis, and corns.
The Lapiplasty procedure is a new technique for Lapidus bunionectomy that resolves the problem and reduces the weight-bearing recovery time.
A Lapiplasty surgery allows patients to bear weight on their foot within a few days compared to the standard bunionectomy, which requires six weeks of non-weight-bearing recovery time. Moreover, there are no restrictions on footwear or physical activity after a Lapiplasty due to enhanced fixation technology used during the procedure.
Some assured advantages of Lapiplasty Bunions surgery include:
Lapiplasty bunion surgery allows patients to bear weight on their foot within the first few days of surgery, compared to a traditional bunionectomy which requires six weeks of non-weight-bearing recovery time. In general, most people can return to their daily activities within two weeks of surgery, but it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for a full recovery. In some cases, more extensive procedures may require an extended recovery period before returning to normal activity levels.
Lapiplasty bunions surgery is an innovative procedure that offers improved structural stability over traditional bunion surgeries. It helps restore the normal anatomy of the joint by addressing the deformity at its source and realigning the bones, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissue to repair the toe joint and reduce pain. Because lapiplasty preserves more bone and connective tissue than traditional bunionectomy procedures, it provides a more stable foundation for future foot health.
The surgery realigns the metatarsal bone by surgically cutting and repositioning it to a more anatomically correct angle. This realignment allows for greater joint stability and limits future deformity progression. Lapiplasty also removes excess bone that has grown due to long-term pressure from wearing shoes or walking improperly. Removing this excess bone improves the toe's alignment, and any remaining deformity is corrected. And once the bones have been properly aligned and excess bone removed, specialized hardware may be used to hold everything in place while the joint heals so that scar tissue can form firmly around it.
Through corrective osteotomies to three separate planes within the bone, Lapiplasty restores proper structural alignment to the joint, enabling feet to return to their natural form and function. The result is long-lasting relief from bunion pain that allows patients to go about their daily activities with greater ease. Furthermore, this minimally invasive procedure requires only a small 3 cm incision and achieves motion preservation of the big toe. The success of Lapiplasty® Bunion Surgery has been demonstrated in clinical trials and is backed by extensive research.
The surgery involves removing the deviated bone and realigning it over a metal plate that is secured to the metatarsal bone, allowing it to remain in place without the risk of recurrence. This improved alignment helps reduce pain associated with bunions and prevents further deformity. The procedure also enables a full range of motion for the toes, which may be limited by bunions if not treated correctly. With normal movement restored, affected individuals can participate in activities such as walking or running with less discomfort.
The possible drawbacks associated with Lapidus bunion surgery include the following:
Cost is one of the greatest disadvantages of Lapiplasty Bunion surgery. This procedure is generally more expensive than traditional bunionectomy methods due to its specialized nature and the added time and complexity involved. Additionally, insurance companies may not cover it due to its experimental status, meaning that many patients must pay for this procedure out-of-pocket.
According to GoodRx, the cost can range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $7,000 per foot. Depending on the severity of the condition and other factors such as the doctor's experience level and fees.
Although the procedure is generally considered safe, any type of invasive surgery carries a certain amount of risk, and post-operative infections can occur. It is important to keep the incision clean and follow all post-operative instructions carefully to reduce the chances of infection. If an infection occurs, it may require medical attention and could lead to additional complications or a longer recovery time. Some people may also be more prone to infection due to underlying health conditions or medications they are taking, which should be considered before undergoing Lapiplasty Bunion surgery.
Laplipasty bunion surgery can cause a few complications, including skin infection, nerve damage, blood clots, and bunion recurrence. If the surgery is not properly done or insufficient precautions are taken post-surgery, the skin around the area may become infected. In extreme cases, this infection may spread to other body parts. Infections can be treated with antibiotics, but further surgical treatment may be required in some cases.
Long-term side effects of Lapiplasty Bunion surgery may include nerve damage, pain, swelling near the bunion or incision site, and decreased range of or stiffness in the big toe. Risk of infection is also possible for any type of surgical procedure. Potential long-term side effects that may occur due to Lapiplasty Bunion surgery include bunion recurrence, a lump on the affected area, a deformity in the foot due to complications from surgery, and permanent loss of sensation.
Relapse in Laipiplasty Bunion surgery is possible due to the natural healing process and movement of the foot. On your lifestyle, age, and factors, potential relapse can include:
To prevent the relapse of bunion surgery, patients need to adhere to their post-operative instructions and maintain a healthy weight. Regular visits with your foot doctor are also recommended to monitor any changes or progression of symptoms. Additionally, wearing supportive footwear can help minimize pain associated with bunion deformities.
All in all, Lapiplasty bunionectomy can be a safe and effective method of treating bunions. It is, however, important to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons before undergoing any surgical procedure. Consulting with a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon can help you figure out if this procedure is the right option for your foot condition while also providing valuable insight into the recovery process. However, considering the advantages and disadvantages of Lapiplasty bunion surgery can a little bit of research can help you stay educated about the surgery.
The hardware can be expensive, and the patient may pay more than they would for other hardware. Additionally, the use of cutting guides and jigs may prolong operating time.
While recurrences may still occur, the Lapiplasty procedure greatly reduces its risk. This is due to the usage of advanced fixation technology. Additionally, patients can bear weight on their feet within days after surgery, significantly less than the six weeks required for a traditional bunionectomy.
The published research indicates that Lapiplasty has a success rate of 97.3%, much higher than traditional bunion surgery's success rate.
Bunion surgery typically provides significant pain relief, reduces swelling, and improves alignment and motion of the big toe. Patients should not anticipate a decrease in shoe size post-surgery.