What is Lapiplasty and is it right for you?
What is Lapiplasty and is it right for you?
In the past, bunion surgery was known for its long recovery time along with the very real possibility that the procedure would not completely correct the bunion. Today, more modern surgical procedures provide a faster recovery, as well as superior outcomes. The most well-known of these techniques is Lapiplasty.
The Lapiplasty procedure is a bunion correction in three dimensions, altering the shape of your foot and permanently fixing it in its correct position. This means that you don’t need to be worried about your bunion coming back following your procedure.
Lapiplasty offers finer and more complete anatomical correction of the bones and joints, significantly reduced risk of the bunion returning in the future, and a faster recovery period complete with the ability to bear weight on the foot sooner.
What makes Lapiplasty different?
While many procedures were designed to address the way bones can shift outward and upward as the result of a bunion, the bones can also rotate (or pronate) in a way that isn’t always addressed by other procedures. In fact, about 87% of bunion patients have at least some rotation in the first metatarsal. Lapiplasty addresses this factor as well, making it more of a “3D” solution than other procedures.
Because Lapiplasty achieves total correction across all planes – and permanently secures the positioning – Lapiplasty leaves a much lower chance that the original factors that caused the bunion will return. In fact, research has shown that bunion correction procedures that don’t address all misalignment factors have as much as 12 times the risk of long-term bunion recurrence than Lapiplasty and other procedures that provide total realignment.
How does Lapiplasty work?
Lapiplasty takes advantage of advanced hardware to achieve bunion correction, allowing us to perform very precise work while keeping the toe stabilized in the proper position.
We use a special positioning instrument to shift, rotate, and reposition the toe back to its proper alignment. This instrument locks the position or the metatarsal in place, allowing us to continue the procedure in full confidence.
A guide tool is then used to make precise incisions into the area and cuts to the bone, ensuring the procedure is performed optimally with minimal excess cuts and collateral damage to healthy skin.
Once repairs are complete, titanium plates are affixed to the joint to hold the corrected alignment and stop joints from moving in ways they were never supposed to move. They have no detrimental effect on your range of motion or ability to perform most physical activities once you recover.
Is Lapiplasty right for you?
The answer to that question depends on a number of things, including your previous medical history, activity levels, age, and other factors that can play large roles in determining the best recommendations for addressing your bunion problem.
If you can properly manage symptoms using non-surgical treatments – such as custom orthotics, more accommodating footwear, and specialized stretching, among others – that will often be a preferred route to take over any form of surgery. However, if surgery is the best or only route, the specific procedure or procedures we may recommend can differ based on the unique needs of each patient.
Talk to a specialist first
If you’re concerned about the bunion you have – or those you may be developing – you may want to visit an orthopaedist specializing in foot and ankle issues. DOC has two such specialists: Dr. Justin Daigre and Dr. Matthew Nalamlieng.
Dr. Justin Daigre is board-certified in orthopaedics and fellowship trained in foot and ankle surgery. His expertise and caring approach make him one of the best foot and ankle surgeons in Alabama. He earned a B.S. in Biology from UAB, completed medical school at South Alabama in Mobile, AL and then moved to West Virginia University to complete his orthopaedic training. He spent a year in foot and ankle fellowship training in Columbus, Ohio, and has now returned to provide care for the community where he was raised.
Dr. Daigre is an active member of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and a diplomat of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He works with two orthopedic implant companies: In2Bones and Treace Medical. With In2Bones, he helps design orthopedic products that are used in the operating room. Dr. Daigre helps teach other surgeons how to use Treace Medical’s Lapiplasty system, the revolutionary 3D bunion correction system.
Dr. Nalamlieng is a board-certified podiatrist, who focuses on the treatment of chronic and acute foot conditions. He is certified in foot, rearfoot and reconstructive ankle surgery with the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS). He can and will address all foot problems including toe pain, forefoot pain, heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, tendinitis and arthritis.
Dr. Nalamlieng earned his Bachelor of Science at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California. He then completed his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Podiatric Medicine in Pomona, California, graduating as part of the Pi Delta Honor Society.
During his three-year integrated podiatric medicine and surgery residency with an added credential in reconstructive rearfoot/ankle surgery at the White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Nalamlieng focused on foot and ankle sports injuries, lower extremity trauma, joint replacement for end-stage ankle arthritis, and reconstruction of complex foot and ankle deformities.
He went on to serve as a member of the Center for Limb Preservation & Advanced Wound Care at White Memorial Medical Center and completed additional training in advanced techniques in lower extremity reconstruction at USC Keck Medical Center as a chief resident.
About DOC Orthopaedics
Since 1972, the specialists at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine have been committed to providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication, and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics and physical therapy to sports medicine, joint replacement, and more, the doctors at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can provide local expert care for any orthopaedic disorder or injury and help put your life back in motion.