By Erica Brecher
Bunions are not only painful, but also they make people self-conscious. They are quite common. In fact, one in three Americans has a bunion, according to Cleveland Clinic, and 150,000 surgeries are performed yearly in the U.S. to correct bunions (bunionectomies).
The podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons at Excelsior Orthopaedics perform more than 230 bunionectomies yearly. Trina Pool, who decided to undergo a bunionectomy in December, says, “Before, I was definitely having pain. My [bunion] was more cosmetic, but the pain was also getting worse.” Pool admits she was nervous, but she’s thrilled with the results.
Notorious for varying outcomes, bunionectomies can get a bad rap, even though more than 90% of surgeries successfully reduce foot pain. Thankfully, a newer way of performing the surgery is more reliable. Lapiplasty Bunion Correction fixes a person’s bunion by fusing a mid-foot joint to correct a bunion where the joint has become unstable, rather than just cosmetically fixing it. Lapiplasty also adds a cut guide for surgeons, making it easier for them to make more precise cuts in the bone. Dr. Jude Violante, a podiatrist at Excelsior Orthopaedics, says Lapiplasty removes any guesswork and improves patient outcomes.
Dr. Violante performed Pool’s bunionectomy. Pool returned home from the hospital the same day as the surgery, and was off her foot for two weeks. At her first post-op visit, Pool received her boot, started physical therapy, and was able to begin putting pressure back on her foot. Today, she’s back to exercising.
“Overall, it was worth it. I’m glad that I did it, and it looks great,” Pool says. While she still occasionally feels minimal pain from the surgery, the bunion pain she experienced prior to surgery is gone.
“The cut guide shows a surgeon exactly where to cut the bone, rather than having to use your best judgment,” Dr. Violante says. “The biggest selling point for surgeons is that it gives us the best possible outcome every time. It’s the best option for good, long-term results.”
Treace Medical Concepts, Inc., the medical technology company behind Lapiplasty, says the new technology offers a quicker recovery time, noting the ability of patients to bear weight on their foot up to two weeks sooner than those who have their bunions corrected in other ways. Dr. Violante agrees that a patient who undergoes Lapiplasty can walk sooner.
“After 16 years of performing bunion surgery, I think having a more precise surgery is an exciting advancement,” says Dr. Violante. “Being able to fix it perfectly every time is the best-selling aspect behind it.” And, the proof of that is in the data: 97% of Lapiplasty patients reported lasting results at 13 months post-op, according to a 2019 study published by the National Institutes of Health’s Library of Medicine.
Many people with bunions are good candidates for this improved type of procedure. Call Excelsior Orthopaedics at 716-250-9999 to see if it’s right for you.