• Podiatrist with foot diagram

Straightening Things Out:

New Procedure Treats the Root Cause of Bunion Deformity

Podiatrist Dale Brink, DPM, recently achieved a first for the entire South Suburbs when he successfully performed a revolutionary new type of bunion surgery called the Lapiplasty® bunionectomy in early March.

The new procedure corrects the root cause of the problem – a misaligned metatarsal bone – while dramatically shortening the time patients have to wait to bear weight on the affected foot.

Before xray showing bunion

“Contrary to popular belief, bunions are often complex deformities that stem from joint issues in the mid-foot,” he explains. "The root cause of a bunion is an unstable joint at the base of the foundation of the metatarsal bone." With an unbalanced foundation, the bone leans out of alignment and creates a bump on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe.

Most bunion treatments only address the top part of the metatarsal and ignore the real problem: the unstable joint.

“A common misconception is that a bunion is simply an overgrowth of bone that can be ‘shaved’ off,” he explains. During an osteotomy or traditional bunion surgery, the surgeon cuts and shifts the top part of the bone over, treating the bunion symptoms or bump. “An osteotomy is a two-dimensional solution for a three-dimensional problem.” With the unstable joint still at its foundation, the root cause of the bunion deformity isn’t addressed and, as a result, is prone to return.

Xray after lapiplasty on foot

The Lapiplasty® procedure, however, addresses the problem three-dimensionally.

“Using advanced instrumentation, the entire metatarsal bone is corrected in all three dimensions, restoring it to its proper alignment while naturally removing the bump and straightening the toe,” he added. “The unstable joint is then fused with titanium plates, which permanently secures the correction in place.”

Since the procedure uses advanced fixation technology, many patients are able to bear weight on their foot within days after surgery instead of six weeks with traditional bunionectomy. Best of all, Lapiplasty® doesn't limit footwear choices or physical activity.

For more information, call Ingalls Care Connection at 708.915.CARE (2273).

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