Lapiplasty is a new technology that has been advertised and marketed by a company called TREACE medical. The lapiplasty is growing in popularity due to the ability to get patients back to weight-bearing and activities faster with what we consider a “base bunion procedure.” Base procedures are fusion procedures where two bones are cut and placed together by plates and screws. This allows also for the bunion to be corrected in multiple planes so the long bone is rotated back to where it was anatomically at around birth. Although the idea of triplanar correction has been out there for many years and podiatrists have been using this concept when correcting bunions long before the “lapiplasty” came out, the new technology makes it simpler for podiatrists to rotate the bone using specialized instruments versus freehand like we used to. Our doctor was trained in both ways and is always using the tri-planar correction in all her bunion surgeries.
The good news is that if you have surgery by our doctor, your bunion will be corrected using the “new-and old theories” triplanar bunion correction. What makes the lapiplasty a little bit different is that the instruments, including 2 plates and 4 screws in each plate, used to “fix the bunion” are placed at such an angle that it allows for patients to be weight bearing faster. As opposed to the 6-8 weeks non weightbearing and then moving into a boot with walking that is typical for bunion surgeries, patients with lapiplasty can get to weight-bearing sooner, usually closer to the 6 weeks. This of course depends on bone structure, age, and other factors which the doctor will discuss with you at your bunion consultation. In addition, not all locations and insurances cover the new “lapiplasty” procedure. Our doctor performs surgery at the facilities that have approved the lapiplasty to be performed and will let you know what facilities these are when you come. We always do prior authorization prior to your surgery planning too so that you know it will be covered when you see us!
A 56 year old woman came in who was experiencing a lot of bunion pain on the right foot. The pain gradually got worse and she was unable to play with her grandchildren or take her nightly walks with her husband. Many of her family members also experienced bunion pain and they all had surgical correction for them to relieve the pain and problems associated with bunions. The patient tried things such as wearing wide shoes, icing every night after her walks, and using pads on her bunion bump with no long-term relief. The patient then came to see us to discuss surgery. She decided to have surgery in January of 2022 and had the newest Lapiplasty procedure to straighten the toe. She was able to bear weight a lot sooner than traditional bunion surgery and was back in shoes with minimal swelling at 10 weeks after surgery. Now she is back to running around with her grandchildren and walking the beaches at sunset with her husband.
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Grandville Foot and Ankle serves patients from Grandville, Jenison, Hudsonville, Georgetown, Zeeland, Grand Rapids, Caledonia, Kentwood, Lowell, and throughout Michigan. Contact us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sarah Stewart.